Saturday, May 05, 2007
The Role of the Nurse-Activist
Last week I returned to my old nursing school for "Scholarship Days" to present my case study on nurse-activism. This is an annual event for my old alma mater where alumni and students and professors can present scholarly treatises, white papers, research, clinical studies etc. to the college body. I presented previously on a community outreach program for breastfeeding that I helped with (Breast Fest) and a Parish Nurse program that I started. This time my presentation was called, "The Role of Nurse Activism: The use of book and film to alter perceptions in healthcare." In my presentation I talked about my birth and read excerpts from the book, showed a clip of the film (which the Brits had emailed me), and showed pictures from the blog. That was all fine and well, but the most important part of this presentation was my talk about the role of activism and why nurses should pursue thier passions in thier various fields of nursing. I talked frankly about how my passion for birth and the politics thereof, got me fired from more than one job, and how it led me to do what I'm doing now and how I expect to make an impact. I told them that they too, can have a positive impact on healthcare by following thier passions. I feel this is an important message. Healthcare and in particular the hospital culture, has a way of bending you to its will. It takes extreme courage to buck the system. I love Maya Angelou's quote, "Without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues." In healthcare, in my work, in my life, I have found this to be all too true.