Inspiration comes from the most unexpected places.
A local radio station was playing the entire Sgt. Pepper album last night, and this lyric from “Good Morning, Good Morning” hit me as being a great title for a blog post.
It was forty years ago yesterday that “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released. It was a month before my tenth birthday and I had every US-released Beatles album up through “Revolver”.
I didn’t hear Sgt. Pepper until 1974.
By June of 1967 I was heavily into Michael Nesmith and the Monkees. Sgt. Pepper was weird and the Beatles were turning into…heavens above….hippies! Agh!
Well, by 1974 my inner hippie was well developed and I could appreciate Sgt. Pepper for the masterpiece it was/is.
(It’s amazing I didn’t develop multiple personality disorder. I was the only nerd/cheerleader/hippie I’d ever known…)
Actually, I have a fair amount to say.
Recent events in the medical blogosphere have caused me to re-evaluate why I blog, what I get out of the experience and what, if anything I am able to contribute to the medical blogosphere.
My reasons for starting a blog are not the same reasons I am still blogging today, nearly two years later.
I started a blog because I thought it would be fun. I chose to write about emergency nursing because it was the one thing I knew well enough to actually write about.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect Emergiblog to last this long or come this far.
It keeps going because of what I have gotten out of the experience of blogging:
- A new enthusiasm for nursing.
I was a hang-in-there-until-you-can-retire veteran RN who saw no need for nor had any urge to obtain any degree other than my ADN. I was very proud of that degree. Still am.
As I encountered the blogs of nurses across the country, I began to see the bigger picture. Instead of bemoaning the state of the nursing profession, maybe there was a way to be part of the solution. Rather than despair over the lack of resources to educate the next generation of nurses, maybe there was a way to become one of those resources. I entered a BSN program with the goal of a PhD by the age of sixty and eventual employment as a nursing professor.
- Restored pride in my profession.
Reading blogs by nursing students, I felt the excitement, the anxiety and the pride they felt as they mastered new skills. It was a revelation to realize that there were people out there who were working hard, making sacrifices every day to enter a profession I took for granted. This caused me to look back on my career and to see nursing with fresh eyes. Instead of burnt out, I became proud of not only my accomplishments, but also those of my colleagues.
- Increased knowledge of and new respect for medicine.
Hearing the perspective of physicians has given me a new respect for what it is like to work as a doctor. I had no idea what it was like to be a physician – the frustrations, the triumphs and the enormity of knowledge/education required to be a doctor. Through blogs we get the chance to look at the world through the eyes of a surgeon, a family practitioner, a radiologist, an internist or a pediatrician. There are real, sometimes all too human people behind that “MD”. I appreciate them more now than I did before I began blogging.
- The opportunity to write.
I had no idea that I could write, I just knew I wanted to write. The catharsis of writing came as a surprise. The fact that anyone would actually find and read the writing was even more so! Yes, it was “online”, but who would possibly care! I thought that eventually I would run out of topics. This hasn’t happened. The more you write, the more you find to write about. The act of writing perpetuates writing.
- An ability to observe life
After awhile, life is really one big blog post. Anything can stimulate an idea. I find myself jotting down observations I wouldn’t have made, connections I would not have seen previously. A word, a comment. A song lyric. I never realized how much a writer observes life. Writing makes you a more acute observer.
- A sense of connection.
Truly, no matter where we live or what health care system we function in, our experiences are universal. This was a most profound realization. From England to Singapore, Mexico to Japan, Iran to Australia, we are all the same. Illness – and health care – knows no boundaries, recognizes no treaties. The opportunity to “meet”, converse with and support fellow health care workers from all over the world has been a truly enriching experience.
There is a lot to be said for blogging. It has enriched my life. Maybe too much. I had to laugh at #1 Dinosaur at Musings of a Dinosaur when he wrote this here:
Blogs are living things, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that they are written by people, most of whom are also living. (The exceptions are certain bloggers who are so hard-core they don’t really have anything that can be called a life.)
I laughed in the comments and said, “I resemble that remark!”
Well, maybe not exactly, but Emergiblog has become a part of my identity and I can’t imagine not utilizing it for thoughts and ideas and funny items.
Here’s hoping that as the medical blogosphere evolves, more of us will use the internet as a source of information and support of one another. We all deserve the right to write. We need to hang in there and offer our support to those who do not have the luxury of their employer’s support or feel anxious about writing.
There is a great quote from “From Silence to Voice” that I think fits here (with a bit of a modification). The authors are discussing the nursing profession, but it really applies to bloggers, too:
“They can shut up and leave in droves, or stand up for medical blogging so that medical blogging begins to get the support it needs.”
We need to keep giving the support our colleagues need to keep blogging. We must fight to change the opinions of those who find the medical blogosphere frightening and use their influence to silence those who would discuss their professions.