I have been a nurse for almost 34 years (yes, I started my career at age 6), and most of that time has been spent in some type of procedural environment, mostly the operating room. As a new grad, I did bedside nursing for 5 years, which I have to say is super challenging and a great way to learn right out of school. There was a huge lapse of time from my initial graduation with a diploma, back in 1985, to my Bachelor’s degree in 2018. Most of this was because life got in the way, lack of money for spending on myself, etc. However, a lot of that time I spent in school taking various classes for self-improvement, which eventually led me to enough credits in various subjects to formally “wrap it up”, so to speak. You know when you were small, people used to ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up”, and you had to come up with something? No problem for me, it varied according to age and experience, and has been approximately this progression: ballerina, teacher, professional Broadway dancer, artist (that was a close one), nurse, horticulturist, expert in English history or literature, yogi, but always….always…. writer. I have to say that it is a cumulative mixture of all of these things that make up my present day personality. However, nursing was the official occupation, and so it was the way I made my money.
The way nurses are taught today is a little different than it was 35 years ago. In 1992 someone came up with the notion of EBP: Evidence Based Practice. Evidence based practice integrates using the best research evidence to see if treatments work, integrating this with the best practitioners and resources, and taking into consideration the unique needs and preferences of the individual being treated. The reason I am telling you this, is that there is a lot more going on behind the scene of your hospital visit than you know. From the moment you enter the building, to the minute you leave,(all the clinical people you encounter are following your “care plan”, which is a giant blueprint of your condition, needs, and therapies. When I come out to talk to you in pre-op, and question you for the upteenth time about what meds you’re on, your allergies, previous surgeries, and support system for afterwards, there are reasons for that. Somewhere in the depths of your chart (paper or computerized), and in the brain of the nurse, is a care plan for you. Maybe you have a potential for pain, a potential for knowledge deficit related to your condition, or a potential for bad drug interactions that would open up a can of worms. Evidence based practice is used because we need to do things that really work. Using the notion that “it’s always been done that way”, or “Dr. so and so doesn’t like it when we do that” is total nonsensical bunk. Using science to base decision making, along with empathy to understand individual differences is the key to healthcare.
Evidence based practice works very well. Imagine, if you will, if more and more businesses and institutions used EBP to run things. EBP decisions use information from repeated rigorous data gathering. What if we used EBP to guide us in other areas, like how to manage prison populations, or what is working to alleviate the homeless crisis, or heaven forbid, how to make sensible public policies (not holding my breath on this one). I think we don’t have a lot of influence over these other realms yet, but one thing we do have influence over, is ourselves. What if we used EBP to live our lives? What I mean is, what if we were actually conscious and logical when we made decisions? Things probably would work out better. I am not saying that all decisions have to be made using only logic. I would never have gotten this far in life without trusting my intuition. That being said, using my intuition has always worked out well, so in gathering data, I could state that I have done my own trial and found intuition to be a supreme decision-making tool.
If we tried, just for one day, to be conscious in our decision making, we might eat consciously (slowly savoring a nutrient-dense meal), exercise using the best technique for our own body, rather than following someone else’s plan, and turn off the squawk box long enough to relax, read, listen to music, or meditate for our mental stability. Social media would definitely change, because you would fact-find things that you re-post. Interactions with other people would change, because you would know that living among other people and making connections would be best for your (and their) mental health. We might think before we reactively speak…..okay, that’s going to take some time. I’m not perfect, and am not conscious half of my life either, but I’m trying. I employ EBP to help me find the best way to do things, whether it is putting together a backyard landscape design, or buy food at the grocery store, and I think that more and more people are coming to the realization that we have to do this in order to lay a solid foundation for living our daily lives. Remember, EBP takes into consideration the individual and his/her needs, beliefs, and risk factors, so it’s not all just science, it’s science with a heart.
Another thing I have to say about science is, it really is just in it for itself. Scientists theorize, perform experiments, and gather data because they have an innate tendency to question their world and find out facts about it. Scientists don’t (I’m sure there are a few exceptions) do all this work in order to facilitate a particular dogma. Newton didn’t create calculus to please the king of England, and Einstein didn’t find insight into time/space because he wanted to further someone’s political aspirations or religious beliefs. Neil deGrasse Tyson, a noted American astrophysicist and author stated it well.
” Science,” he says, “is objective. It’s not something that you believe or do not believe; it’s something that you accept or don’t accept. It remains true regardless of your personal beliefs.”
That being said, if your grandmother is a flat-earther, and thinks the world is flat, it doesn’t mean it is. There are a lot of things unknown to us, and I do my best to investigate the unusual things that I have noticed in my life. Some of these events are beyond the present state of science as we know it, and some of them can be verified with the increased flow of scientific findings that are coming at us with exponential speed. I intend to present a lot of these unusual things in this blog. It gives me a way to express my creativity in the writing process, and might stir up interest in various issues for you. If you like, I invite you to “follow” me with the button on the lower right corner, or “like”, or comment, or, whatever. Have a wonderful day, and savor your lunch…..yum.