30 March 2009: Best Practice

We had been hearing about the new pupil nurses starting today and we weren’t sure what to expect. The experienced students that we had been working with for the last week or so were switching from “clinical” to classroom, so the new students, with only classroom knowledge (yet to experience direct patient care), were going to be joining the staff on A2. I tried to enter the day with a fresh mindset, hoping to offer some basic knowledge and confidence, but I ran into a dilemma: On one hand I was able to teach basic skills, but on the other I myself still had an infant’s knowledge about the ward and found myself needing clarification. Further, all that I have learned about “best practice” is all but lost on these dear people. And I continue to struggle with whether or not it is actually my place to try and “fix” it. As it is, McCord is so far above what I expected to encounter here.

I posed this question to Toni (from UKZN) later today. Her answer reminded me that it is our place to come and join their efforts, not change things around. They have been doing their best for probably more years than I could guess and it is working. If I want to change anything, I will need to create something that is sustainable. More often than not, if I shared something with the staff, they would practice it for a time (while I was present, at the helm), but as I disappeared the “new practice” would disappear. Not because they didn’t like it or that there wasn’t research to back it up, but more so because it was foreign to them and uncomfortable – it wasn’t what they learned from their training.

I continually struggle with this. Am I stepping on their toes? Is it my place? If something is blatently wrong (from my educational background and understanding) can I even fix it? Sure I can open my mouth and correct the problem as I encounter it, but then it is up to the recipient for what to do with that knowledge in the future.

The same can be said about sharing my faith. Yes, it is my duty to share the Gospel. I can do that. Maybe I am the first person or the twenty first person to share to this one person, but if I don’t share my faith then I am useless. Who knows, perhaps this time will be the turning point for the other and their future will be changed. I don’t know. That is why I must press on. I must speak out. For that could mean all the difference.