Politics are definitely a huge part of life right now. Unfortunately, I missed the debate the other night, but I was able to catch bits and pieces of it when my patients were watching.
I never quite understood why so many restaurants always had CNN or CSPAN or some other news-only channel on all the time. Then, I started working as a nurse and have found that many people, especially the older ones, actually choose to watch those stations. They love listening to all the political chatter.
Now, I actually appreciate having so many of my patients interested in politics. It's always been something I've been very interested in but don't often get a chance to discuss it with open-minded individuals. I don't want you to agree with me, I just want to be able to have a mature conversation about the issues. I have found this with my patients. I will sometimes comment on what's on TV, which allows them the opportunity to continue the conversation or opt out -- most carry it forward. It's nice to get another person's perspective, especially one I don't already know.
I will never forget a patient we had for a long time. Most nurses didn't care for him because he could be unappreciative and sometimes downright mean. I always got along with him though, and there was one time I spent nearly an hour with him just talking politics. It was our bonding moment. That man educated me so much about why some things are how they are now. I will truly never forget that talk.
Many people shy away from talking politics because they are afraid of others' views and people judging them for their own beliefs. I say, find where you stand and talk to others to find out what they believe and why. You might just learn a few things. And, at the very least, you'll get to hear, and hopefully appreciate, a different point of view.
I admit, it's not something you should talk about with everyone. There are some who won't appreciate your point of view or who won't be open to discussing it. If you know your patients, and know yourself, it could be a very positive discussion. Politics doesn't have to be about left and right, liberal and conservative -- it's about freedom and democracy. It's about a choice to help better our future.
This was my bonding moment. What types of bonding moments have you experienced with your cancer patients?