Learning Video Posts

Hello, It seems apt as Nurses’ Week is coming to an end to share this interview with you. I did the interview with Rob Fraser, a wonderful new nurse whose got a great website called Nursingideas.ca. Rob does interviews with all kinds of people and he did one with me after I did a workshop on how nurses should tell their stories in Toronto last year at the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario — another great group people all over the world should know about. Nurses’ Week is always a flutter of hearts and angels and other symbols that I think trivialize and sentimentalize nurses’ extraordinarily complex work. Just consider the International Council of Nurses’ choice of a symbol for Nurses’ Week this year — a light bulb with instead of a normal filament inside, a lit up heart. Need one say more. So I hope you enjoy this interview and let me know what you think of it.
Thanks and happy Nurses’ Week and thank you all for the educated brains that guide your educated hearts.


Showing 5 comments
  • Lyall Furphy RN

    I was livid when I saw the poster for the 2009 International Council of Nurses (ICN) International Nurses Day theme which is: ‘Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Care Innovations.’

    The ICN, in using a heart shaped light bulb filament, couldn’t have found a more comprehensive way of undermining the credibility and impact of an excellent and thought provoking theme.

    Here’s a link to the egregious poster: http://icn.ch/images/ind2009.jpg

    I’ve seen a few of these posters in my hospital. Had the ICN dispensed with the cute heart and kept a conventional light bulb they would have made a powerful poster prompting those reading it to think, ‘Nurses lead?’ Nurses innovate? That hadn’t occurred to me before.’

    Electricity or metaphorical ideas illuminate light bulbs not kindness. The heart imagery reinforces conventional notions about nurses and drowns out the important message that the creative and practical output of nurses and nursing matters.

    Read about all the nurse led innovation the poster undermines here: http://icn.ch/indkit2009.pdf

    To understand the trouble with heart symbols and angelic stereotypes read Suzanne Gordon’s books and articles and attend one of her talks or workshops. I have and it has had a profound effect on my professional outlook.

    The media skills I learned from Suzanne Gordon helped when I was filmed doing my job (neurosurgery & neurotrauma ward RN) for the highly rated television program based at my former hospital (Medical Emergency, Seven Network, Australia).

    Thank you Suzanne.

    Don’t forget to check out Rob Fraser’s site and podcasts on http://nursingideas.com

    • Suzanne

      Thank you so much for sending this. I think you should also send it to the ICN. They clearly need to hear from nurses about this.

  • Lyall Furphy RN

    Rob Fraser’s site is http://www.nursingideas.ca and not nursingideas.com (some domain squatter has that now).

  • Carolyn Newstrom

    I enjoyed this thought-provoking and inspiring video representing an empowering range of thoughts on nursing. Thank you for making this available to the rest of the world!

    I remember being taught, as a young nursing student (early 80s), that nurses were not in the business of diagnosing or of curing but of caring and assisting (in so many words). “Diagnosis” and “Cure” were not words we were allowed to apply to what we did as nurses. A few years later the NANDA list of acceptible “nursing diagnoses” came out thanks to Dr. Calista Roy and several of her sage nursing colleagues. I’m happy to say that nursing has come a long way and is in fact, emerging even as we speak. Curricula in colleges and universities are expanding upon the science aspect of nursing, research is revealing the positive impact of nursing on patient outcomes, and nurses themselves are beginning to see themselves as colleagues rather than as subordinates.

    Both you and Rob are doing excellent work to spur on this healthy trend in thinking and in paradigm shifting. I firmly believe in the power of one nurse, one attitude at a time. and that every voice counts!


  • Lawrence Fisher

    I will give my comments in two part by first commenting on nursingideas,ca and then by commenting on the message. Both the media and the message are worthy of praise.

    The creation of nursingideas,ca is very relevant to both nursing and today’s world. The new internet manifested by the Web 2.0 websites and applications allows an individual to create both media and text and literally publish to a worldwide audience and create a community. What power! History should show that this paradigm shift as a significant event in redefining mass media.

    Rob Fraser is to be commended for using the Web 2.0 to share contemporary nursing theory, thought and story. Not only are the messages important, and as I have said, relevant, but they are presented in a user friendly, conversational way that should appeal to a broad cross section of nurses. Great idea, guy!

    Dr. Gordon, thank you for sharing on this medium. What a great way for nurses to tell their story. Although I have read your words in your books and articles, it is wonderful to see your animation and passion as you speak them.

    I have one other thought. In addition to ownership and pride in our roles as knowledge workers I sincerely hope we able to expand and synthesize new aspects to our roles. Else we run the risk of seeing our jobs being outsourced. Although monkeys can’t be found that can perform our skills, there are capable workers overseas that are skilled at routine and repetitive manipulation and application of data (knowledge work). Most alarming is that they will do this work for wages much lower than a nurse’s wage in the U.S.

    Daniel Pink does a wonderful job explaining what is happening and what must be done in his book A Whole New Mind, Many accountants, computer programmers and lawyers have seen their job outsourced. The technology for communications improves constantly so those professions requiring face-to-face interaction either are or soon will be at risk.

    As you have described, nurses are only seen as “caring” workers and can only derive professional their self esteem from playing out the “virtue script.” I think we face a difficult challenge.

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