Updated: Aug 13, 2020
For those of you attending fall classes...What's the Plan??
Summer is coming to a close and classes are ready to start back up. This semester is going to be a new experience for all of us, very much like Spring semester 2020 was.
As frustrating as this semester will be for students and faculty alike, as long as we remember to keep perspective, we can most definitely make the best of what we have now. While at the same time, work diligently and bravely to make things the way we want and believe that they should be.
This semester I want us to practice creative and independent thinking.
Conformity and uniformity will not increase your knowledge or your future success in life. Sure, it may be the path of least resistance but that path is rarely rewarding... Of course, there are plenty of places that like to hire people that obey and do what they are told without question...BUT if you want to actually be apart of something and make an impact, you need to decide right now to break the mold and think outside of the box.
As the great General George S. Patton once said, "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking".
If everyone in your friend group thinks like you, you need to find some new friends that can challenge your beliefs and then change or sharpen them. I encourage my students to dig deeper and be creative in their approaches. I do not believe in a once size fits all approach or absolute modes and methods to coaching and training. WHY? Because the science is NEVER settled and never will be settled, because there are humans involved.
For that to happen, 100% of the population would have to participate in these studies and all show the exact same outcome. We can certainly make inferences from studies and use them to inform our decisions but we are INDIVIDUALS, with individual values, individual beliefs, individual experiences, etc. Therefore, we cannot all be treated or trained the same way.
Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is a way that I encourage students & practitioners to "practice". This model has three points to it:
All three of these need to be present in the EBP decision making model, with patient values being the ultimate trump card.
The Practitioner is not all knowing, although they can bring in sound advice and expertise. It is their job to do the "informing" in the informed consent process. Meaning they should tell you potential benefits, and more importantly potential risks.
The research should inform the decision, but is not absolute or necessarily transferable to the specific bio-individual needs of that patient.
The patient/client is intelligent, does have values and beliefs, and ultimately will have to be the one to deal with the results of the decision concerning them. Therefore, their decision is the FINAL one, and should be respected.
How can you apply this now?
Well, the same goes for you this fall as a student. You have the ultimate say on your belief system. You should allow your professors and peers to share their insights, knowledge, and beliefs and listen to understand. However, that does not mean that you automatically adopt that belief. Process it, analyze it, explore both sides of it, and then make your decision. Just as the practitioner doesn't have the ultimate say, neither does your professor. We are human too and fall prey to our own biases based on our values and beliefs. SO, be respectful of everyone, and be respectful of yourself too. With the extra rules and stress being placed on all of us, be sure and extend a little extra patience and grace to yourself and everyone else you have to deal with.
We are stronger together, differences of opinion and all!