Monday, November 26, 2012

GNIE: Emotionless Sinkie nurse vs Emotional Pinoy nurse

When I read in blogosphere commentaries about Singaporeans being the world's most emotionless people, I laughed. [Click here and here.]

According to CNN on 23-Nov-2012
"The 36% in Singapore who reported feeling anything is the lowest in the world. ... The Philippines, meanwhile, registered as the most emotional nation, with 60% of those interviewed responding "yes" to experiencing a lot of feelings daily."
I have a funny anecdote to share that illustrate the above. Now my GNIE classmate AP is a Filipino and I am a Singaporean. Sometime last week, we were both stressed because we were both being closely supervised by our respective preceptors and were unsure if our preceptors would pass us. In AP's case, her fears were raised when the Clinical Instructor (CI) told her that she would be given a "Learning Contract" after hearing feedback from her preceptor regarding her performance. In my case, I was concerned because I made many minor mistakes at work and my preceptor had remarked to me, "See she is so independent. She is near the end of her preceptorship" when she saw how comparatively independent my other classmate LY was at the unit.

Being good friends at school, AP called me to talk about her fears after she was told that she would be put on Learning Contract. I listened for awhile and then re-directed her to focus on her anecdotal notes. When she continued rambling on about her fear of possibly failing, I shared mine too. It caught her by surprise, since my classmates' perception of me is generally (to borrow AP's words), "You're good. You don't need to worry. You will pass." 

Going by our previous experience of writing anecdotal notes for "self-reflection and evaluation", we decided that we would write good anecdotal notes to "save" ourselves. I spent 6 hours writing a super-duper detailed account of every little mistake that I made and/or issue that my preceptor highlighted to me. Just as I clicked the "Save" button, the secure online connection (https) logged me out because of time-out. As a result, I spent another 2 hours re-doing my anecdotal notes -- still detailed but not as long-winded as before. I stuck to the facts of what happened, so as to give my CI an "objective" idea of how closely supervised I was, but I avoided citing my personal feelings or opinions of the events.

Since it is known that I had a comparatively stronger command of English, AP approached me to edit her anecdotal notes. IMHO [which I did feedback to AP], AP's original anecdotal notes was one long rambling mess, everything in a single continuous paragraph, without formatting (not even capitalizing letters as per normal sentence structures) nor structure. What struck me was her clear insistence to state how she felt. [Below is an extract of AP's anecdotal notes after editing by me.]
"I felt somewhat stressed and pressured being under constant supervision, especially while taking the nurse’s full workload. In addition, the nurse interrupted me frequently while I was attending to my other patients, regarding the need to check for the latest lab-work reports and doctors’ orders. Although I noted that I needed to check the lab-works and doctors’ orders regularly, I am still not comfortable handling the frequent interruptions, which scrambled my plan/prioritization and broke my flow of care."
Coincidentally, we were both under the same CI (even though our preceptorship were at different hospitals) and we both submitted our anecdotal notes around the same time. Reading our anecdotal notes side-by-side, there was a clear difference in how the 2 nationalities express their emotional side -- the stoic me vs the expressive AP -- much like the stoic stiff-upper-lip Brits vs the expressive Italians.

Here is an extract of the CI's reply to my anecdotal notes:
Hi [WD],
Thank you for your detailed anecdotal. I am wondering how you are feeling about this experience. Are you learning and starting to feel more comfortable or are you feeling some pressure/stress? ...
Yah, even my CI found me too stoic! Haha!

[Addendum: See also Gallup's poll 19-Dec-2012 report, "Latin Americans Most Positive in the World; Singaporeans are the least positive worldwide".]

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