There is no limit to learning….

OVERVIEW

imageSix weeks ago, i started this course with little idea how the course will run as it’s my first time to join an online course. A week after, it became more interesting as i realized that it is an interactive course. Also, it stretched my relationship with technology as i was forced to learn how to correlate resources and post links and visuals. During the third and fourth week, i kind of dragged my blogs and assignments as i became busy with work and other factors such as power shortage, constant brownouts, unreasonable weather conditions which disconnected my internet signal contributed to my slow output. I picked up speed in the last week and posted some long overdue topics. As  I read back my blogs, i realized i haven’t reflected on the topic of Morality. it is difficult to cram, and i think, this topic is quite challenging for me. All  in all, this course is a very enriching experience. I exercised my brain thinking of the pros and cons of the different topics being tackled. Also, it is very interesting to read the posts of other physiotherapists, how each have varied opinions. Diversity at its best. My utmost respect to the facilitators and organizers if this course. Thank you for this wonderful experience. Looking forward to another one. Please invite us again. 😄😄

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As i was reading Ms. Chantelle’s reflection on Morality, my eye caught the word “Moral Sense Test”. It sounded intesting that i followed the link she shared. Scrolling through the different survey questions made me rethink and analyze my moral values.

Morality, defined by Mr Webster as distinction between right and wrong.

Who decides what’s right or wrong?

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I still believe that as long as we follow the Golden Rule, we can never go wrong!

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Reflections on Euthanasia

     Merriam Webster defines euthanasia as:  the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.
Another dictionary  differentiates the types:
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     To say that euthanasia has long been  an issue for debate is a cliche. Nevertheless, i keep on arguing with myself on the pros and cons…still….
     I am born and raised a catholic. I have been brought up to believe in the sanctity of  life and that nobody has the right to just take it away.
     The Roman Catholic church believes that  it is morally wrong to commit suicide and therefore, it is morally wrong to help someone commit suicide.
     On the other hand, the church regards it as morally acceptable to refuse extraordinary and aggressive medical means to preserve life. Refusing such treatment is not euthanasia but a proper acceptance of the human condition in the face of death.
     Been reading posts of peers and though i may agree with some opinions, i am still not sure where i really stand. Dying is part of the cycle. We all go at a certain time. though i am hesitant to reflect on how and when i’d go, but if ever i am in a situation where  i’d be terminally ill, dying with dignity would perhaps be an option.
    On the other hand, when you have a very strong family connection, it is very difficult to just Let go. When someone close to me  is dying,  I would want  optimal palliative care as an option. Dying a natural death would be a better way to go.
    I am going in circles. It is so difficult to decide when you haven’t been in a certain situation that merIts such a difficult decision. One thing is sure,  i wouldn’t judge  people who wants to have the choice when to die, and to die with dignity.
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Dictionary defines torture as : The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something.
Pain on the other hand is defined as :  Physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury.
I don’t want to lump torture and pain in the same category. I think torture goes way beyond the pain scale of 10.
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As a sports therapist, i am familiar with the athletes mantra of “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”. Pain is normal especially with new athletes or those with visions of gold. But the pain they are experiencing is not a form of punishment. It is intense effort on their part to be able to get to the place they want to be.
As a healthcare practitioner, i have taken the oath to prolong life, at the same time to provide quality care to patients. Akin to quality care is “accurate evaluation and appropriate services in a competent and compassionate environment “, ( web definition). Pain is part of our treatment. I have long accepted that, but we have the Pain scale to determine patient’s tolerance to pain. Also, patients’ goal are evaluated at the start of the treatment. In my case, i talk to my clients, ask them their expectations. I explain the importance of flexibility and the need to undergo rigorous training to achieve their goals.
Pain is part of the package. But in the clinic we call it EFFORT.
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  I just had the chance to reflect on the topics of  the past three weeks today. i apologize for the late postings. our place is experiencing power shortage. also, with constant heavy rains, my internet signal is often compromised. So, i am somewhat cramming. I watched the video, and all that came in my mind was the issue of diversity. I searched the net and came up with a definition of equality and diversity.
What is Equality?
      Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of  race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.
What is Diversity?
        The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
It means understanding that each individual is unique,
and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along
the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs,
political beliefs, or other ideologies.  It is the exploration
of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
It is about understanding each other and moving beyond
simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the
rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
To answer the question: Are we really equal? I think we are legally born equal, but culture changes us.
Reality check:
* People belong to different cultures where the concept of equality differs.
* different people, different religion, where concept of right and wrong differs.
* people set certain standards based on how they were brought up and these standards shape them and create certain personal rules on how they treat other people.
Are we really equal?….i’d like to think we are moving towards it. What i learned from this topic is that we need to strengthen our Cultural Competence In order to learn that each individual is unique.

In the world of sports where “no pain, no gain” is the mantra, and ” going for gold” is the objective, empathy plays a small part in athlete’s care.

As a sports therapist for close to 8 years now, i encountered lots of ahletes with attitude, pushy parents and coaches with “win-at-all-cost- behavior.

Every time  i accept a new client, i meet with  their coaches.  I talk to them and ask about their previous training programs. I next talk to the parents.All of them have such big ambitions for their kids. Visions of going to the Nationals. When i talk  to the athletes,most   mirror  their coaches’ and parents’ ambitions.

Some athletes experience so much difficulty, even with full parental support, good training programs, and success driven coaches, it’s as if they’re stuck. I realized that some of them have very low morale, most are fearful and insecure. The coaches are always angry. Every training leaves the athletes drained. When they get injured, they are still pushed past their limits. It’s as if they don’t have the right to be weak and tired both physically and emotionally. (watch the link below).

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=21aVW9TdLrE&feature=related

it took several months before i was able to push through my program, well, not without lots of complaints from coaches. I had to insist on mental trainings and incorporated them with my flexibility and plyometric program. It took several months before i was able to pass through the athletes’ defenses. They were seriously raising their brows at my program.

It was my sole purpose to let the athletes gain personal perspective. To make them realize that they are a separate person, not their parents, not their coaches. i was so immersed with my need to make a difference that i became so stressed out. In the outset, i have not maintained my professional distance. I became entangled with their daily lives that i forgot to step back and see the “forest for the trees”.

it was a struggle for the first few months. I had problems  balancing the parents’, the coaches’, the athletes’ goals with my own. I had to process myself, learning how to step back and not let emotions cloud my senses. I had to take a dose of my own medicine: emotional detaching to gain a clear perspective.

I coordinated with school’s guidance counsellor to assist me in processing the athletes’ issues. I invested time to read about positive imagery, tapping and even listened to binaural music. It was a good learning experience for me. I went out of the box.

Can empathy be taught? To some degree, maybe. But anything can be learned. It just needs a conscious effort on the part of the student. When you let the students understand, expose them to situations and when they, to some extent exhibit empathy, then the teachers’ efforts are not in vain. (Maybe, the understanding by design (UBD) framework of teaching can be used.)

I believe that helping my athletes identify their strengths and allowing them to focus on the positive fostered their self-esteem. A study on emotional intelligence and empathy further clarifies that empathy is a key feature of emotional intelligence. (See link below)

http://internationaljournalofcaringsciences.org/docs/Vol1_Issue3_03_Ioannidou.pdf

I have learned that professional distance and empathy should co-exist. That we can show empathy while still being professional.

“We cannot teach people anything.  We can only help them discover it within themselves”

– Galileo Galilei