Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The real risk is doing nothing"

Susan Fleming, RN, MS, PhD student is the keynote speaker at an upcoming conference at University College Dublin, Ireland. Susan was born missing her left hand. She lives and teaches nursing in Washington.

The conference titled "The real risk is doing nothing" includes the following information:

The landscape of higher education has changed dramatically in recent years and there are now over 6000 students with disabilities registered in higher education. In the case of nursing programs this presents a unique challenge as educators must think beyond the lecture halls and consider how to support students with disabilities in clinical practice.

This conference will explore the implications for clinical practice and will review good practice, both national and international.

This event is aimed primarily at nurses and midwives in preceptor, academic and supervisory roles but will also appeal to policy makers, professional bodies, human resource professionals and student nurses.

This event is organised by AHEAD together with the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems.

It takes place on the 16th March 2011, O’Reilly Hall, UCD.

I wonder, is the real risk doing nothing?


  1. I do not believe not taking action is doing nothing. For in choosing not to act, or respond we are still choosing to do something. For some, perhaps like me and maybe you the idea of not being proactive or responsive is most of the time unthinkable. I have learned when I pick up the slack as was historically my response before Nursing Theorists and the Nurse Practice Acts, when "Nursing was defined only by what Nurses did..." At that time, Team Nursing was the only option!
    In Nursing, as in life there are always going to be those who feel they must do more, or go that extra mile. As I matured, not aged, but matured I learned by doing this I deprived others of the opportunity to rise and do something. This is not universally applicable or strictly true.
    In terms of advocating for those with disabilities or any oppressed minority we MUST do something even as St. Xavier said, "Small things...with love." But risk taking, action outside of my comfort zone, for me, has been a great teacher for even learning what not to do. This alone has taught me volumes. Risk is a relative term. In regard to your topic, we must take action.
    Thank you for your always provocative questions.

  2. It would seem to me that in doing nothing, we risk not knowing what could be done. For example, if we have a child with disease, do we just do nothing or do we seek intervention? We might get lucky if we do nothing, but is the health of your child worth the risk? Life is worth more than a gamble on the future. We need to take risks if we want to achieve more for ourselves. It would be better to risk something for one second than to have never risked anything at all. With risk, we may also fail, but isn't it better to know and not be filled with regret? This will also lead us to knowledge; how we can do things differently to succeed.

  3. We started filming a documentary today (working with disAbilities in hospitals) in an acute care hospital and interviewed managers, physicians, nurses and staff....It was amazing how many people with disabilities are currently employed and doing well in U.S. hospitals. We will show a clip of this documentary in Dublin Ireland in 2 weeks...

    Susan Fleming MN RN
    Alice Dupler JD RN
    Donna Maheady EdD, ARNP, RN

  4. I was reading through old blog posts. Can we share the documentary here?