Thursday, 19 July 2007

Missing the point

One comment on Papillon’s blog recently** was from a nurse, taking Papillon to task over calling her anaesthetist by various names, such as Dr Iceberg, Snow, Frost, Ice-cube. You get the idea - I don’t think he had taken the course in communication skills.

During my time working in the school of medicine the students did have to study communication skills, but they weren’t keen. I believe many of them felt it took up valuable time and wasn’t really relevant. Any of them who did sound enthusiastic were the ones who were already good communicators. Sometimes it seems as though the very people who need it most are the ones who don’t see the point.

It often happens that I have to send out a "blanket" request for people to do something like making sure their mailboxes aren’t too full. I can guarantee that the worst offenders won’t think it applies to them. But perhaps it's my communication that is at fault: I'm not sufficiently blunt.

These days any students I come into contact with are more general STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) students. Their blind spots are that they want hands on work experience and don’t seem to have any real view of what their working lives will be like. So they turn their noses up at anything that might involve sitting at a desk, learning any sort of business or management skills, and (I really can’t comprehend this one) they don’t want any computer work. This is no lie, I met a prospective computer science graduate who left a work experience placement because he had to sit in front of a computer all day. What on earth was he expecting?

** you won’t find that comment yet. Last night I realised I had put all the most recent comments on the wrong post and had to remove them all. I decided I was clearly too tired to think straight and went to bed!

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