Wednesday, February 09, 2011

On Not Shoving My Oar In

When I'm out of my comfort zone, I often just can't speak.

This used to cause a lot of problems in my childhood.

"Daphne can count in Italian, can't you Daphne? Count to ten to show this nice Italian man that you can."

Silence. O Ground, Open Up and Swallow Me.

Somehow, I just couldn't speak. Too shy. Nooooo.

There are things I just won't do. I'd find it very hard to complain about food in a restaurant, for example. I could probably do it if I had to - - - but I'd hate it and in fact I can't ever remember having done it.

But when I'm in my comfort zone - - talking about things I think I know about! - then you can't shut me up and I'm very prone to shoving my oar in.

One of the areas that I think I know about is Communication Skills for healthcare professionals.

Today, my task was simply to watch a course for doctors, because I'll be taking part in it in the future, as a Simulated Patient.

(If you're new to this blog, then a Simulated Patient is someone who plays the role of a patient, working from a brief, to help with the training or assessment of healthcare professionals of all kinds).

My job was just to watch the Simulated Patient at work today. I've been trained in the course already so this was the final part of my training. It's quite demanding work for the Simulated Patient as all the scenarios on this course are created on the spot based on whatever the doctor wants to practise - - and they are usually demanding, "heavy" scenarios involving strong emotions.

So I had to sit at the back, watch and keep quiet - - and I was sure I wouldn't be able to, that I'd want to chip in and say something, and find it very frustrating that I couldn't.

But actually - -- I found it really liberating. When there was a point that I wanted to make, I just had to sit there and see if someone else made it, and wonder how they'd get round to it.

The people running the course - the facilitators - were excellent - and all the points that I wanted to make were eventually covered, so I was happy! It was great to watch a good course running well, and I could see that the doctors were learning a lot from it too.

It was in a lovely old hotel, and there was an excellent lunch too. My life has been so fast-paced recently that just sitting, watching and learning, was wonderful.

And I'm there again tomorrow, doing more watching and learning. My oar will stay relentlessly not shoved in. Bliss!


Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I would leave a comment, but I'm afraid to shove my oar in.

2:45 am  

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