From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – This week I had the happy opportunity to attend the convocation service of the 2019 graduates of the Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree at McMaster University. Graduation season is a wondrous time with all of these bright new hopes and beginnings.
A part of one of the convocation speeches spoke out loudly to me. The speaker, a seasoned nurse and educator, implored the members of the graduating class to rail against the systems of ingrained culture, to break rules and, at all times, to be kind. Nursing, she said, was the holistic human touch of medicine and its foundation is empathy, kindness and listening.
I think that we all have our wonderful stories and our horrible stories about nursing
experiences or, in fact, care experiences in general. This graduation reminded
me that most care professionals go into the field with the tools, passion and idealism of a best-care-kind-and-difference-making practice, but are then crushed at times under the weight of pressures, crises, demands, reporting and doing overtime. Somewhere in the early years, some can get quickly hardened.
So with this in mind, I loved that this professor called it all out – that she identified that their ideals will come up against hard and entrenched cultures that will work to squeeze out their youthful enthusiasm … ‘rail against the systems,’ that is what she said.
Throughout the very long ceremony the word ‘kindness’ was mentioned in no less than 10 different ways, and all of the grads were challenged to maintain the art of care and the empathy intrinsic to being human. This reminder rings true for all of us … rail against a system that made us harden, and get connected with that young graduate inside you that was, at one time, ready to make the world a better place … because we can.