Saturday, February 28, 2009

Conference Review

Yesterday I attended the Loddon Mallee Allied Health Conference and had a great day. It was an opportunity to meet with other Allied Health practitioners in Bendigo and to hear about current policy, practices and research. It was also an opportunity for me to present an aspect of my research about using a Blog as a tool for reflection. There were several highlights for me: John Mulder, CEO talked about Bendigo Health's Strategic Plan and future plans for building a new hospital - it looks fantastic and is an exciting time. Robyn Lindsay is the Chief Physiotherapist at Bendigo Health and she delivered a fantastic presentation that was very entertaining and fun - I loved the use of superhero characters. One thing that really resonated for me is the importance of timing - when you are looking for change one strategy is to keep plodding along, building up skills, experience and research and wait for the time to be right - then pounce.

Amanda Kenny from La Trobe University spoke about her plans for a common first year for Health Sciences students and the development of a rural allied health centre in Bendigo. It sounds like a very exciting idea, and that there may be prospects for teaching and research positions for new PhD graduates!

I was really impressed with Pam Harvey's presentation. Pam is a Lecturer at Monash University, School of Rural Health and her presentation was interactive, engaging and inspiring. Pam talked about the differences and diversity among the people in our workplaces and suggests that we should look at the these differences and diversity rather than trying to box people into groups like generation x or y. Pam talked about modern Web 2.0 tools like wikipedia, twitter, and blogs and encouraged people to check out my blog - thanks Pam it is great feedback. I haven't been sure if a blog is an appropriate tool for reflection, and this is something that I will think more about. Pam mentioned that it is important for us to develop these new social networking skills so that we can keep in contact with our colleagues and clients and understand how to use the new technology. These social networks may be part of a solution for isolated clients and practitioners, whether they be isolated geographically or socially.

It was a great conference and I look forward to next year.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Allied Health Network Conference, Bendigo 27/2/09

I have been preparing my first poster to deliver at the Allied Health Network Conference in Bendigo on Friday, 27th February 2009. I wasn't sure what to present, as I am in the early stages of my research and I have lots of options for which direction I might take. I have decided to present my thoughts about Critical Reflection and the use of an on-line blog. I have attached the notes here and I will present the poster on Friday. I welcome any feedback about the poster and I will be back next week to let you know how it went.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Overcoming fear monsters

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. Andre Gide

I went along to my first Toastmasters meeting on Monday night and I have to say that it was a lot of fun. In a scary, out of my comfort zone kind of way. It's one of those things that I know is going to be good for me, but on the other hand I resist.

Toastmasters is a structured meeting type of workshop, where you learn speaking skills by practicing conversation with other people in a meeting type of atmosphere. Members give short speeches and other members evaluate and provide feedback. It is very respectful and feels comfortable - it feels like a safe place to practice public speaking and develop my skills. It is also a great way to meet a whole lot of interesting people. I'll be going back.

Jerry Seinfeld got a big laugh when he joked about a survey that found that the fear of public speaking ranks higher in most people's minds than the fear of death. "In other words," he deadpanned, "at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy."

The Toastmaster principles seem to be that the way to overcome fears is to face up to them, and practice repeatedly, until it becomes second nature and comfortable. Have you ever faced up to your fears? What did you do? Did it work? Any advice gratefully accepted.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

How do you learn how to learn from experience?

I have been thinking about people learn from their experiences. There are heaps of interesting quotes from those much wiser than I and I have attached a few below:

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Following the Equator, 1897

Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes. ~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windemere's Fan, 1896

Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won't have time to make them all yourself. ~Alfred Sheinwold

I have been wondering about how people learn from their experiences. Do people really learn from their mistakes? How do you learn to do this? Can you learn from other people's mistakes, or do you have to make the same mistake yourself? And Mark Twain's advice is very relevant for me - make sure not to overgeneralise and to miss out on many positive experience because of fear of negative times.

How do you learn from experience? Can you learn from good and bad? Can you learn from other people's experiences? How does it work?

I look forward to hearing from you.