Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knowledge or wisdom?

I was reading an interesting book called "The Isaiah effect: Decoding the lost science of prayer and prophecy" by G. Braden (2000). Sometimes I just read a different view  to add clarity to my own values and viewpoint.  You never know what little snippets of information you can get from alternative reading, other than all the scientific research we need to read for evidenced-based nursing practice. Braden (200) writes that knowledge is an element of our experience from information, data, statistics, even patterns of behavior observed.  We collect all this knowledge and pass it on in books, traditions, demonstration (role modeling), or story-telling. However, what really drives learning is the application of that knowledge through the  experience lived and by the learning through the consequences of those experiences.  After all that, wisdom comes from those direct experiences. Reminds me of when my daughter would try to touch the stove and I would take her hand away and say "HOT!!!" Until she touched it (minor burn), she did not acquire the wisdom to never touch "HOT!" based on my passing knowledge to her.  She had to have the consequences.

So, what has this got to do with workplace bullying?  Nurses deal with the consequences every day.  It is important to understand that there are root causes associated with why nurses bully nurses.  It is not all about the individual attributes of nurses, perpetrator, or the organization.  We need to look at all the factors that cause unacceptable behavior to flourish in the workplace.  And, nurses are part of that picture.  Those particles I wrote about before.  Keep in mind how you yourself "cope" with the bullying.  I think how nurses cope and how they act in conflict communication is important to the whole story.  Until next time.

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