This week is the IAFN annual conference, and once again, it’s an opportunity to network and collaborate with some of the best and the brightest in the field. It’s a week I love, and sometimes love to hate, because with the deeply satisfying moments come the inevitable, frustrating ones where I witness acts of great professional unkindness perpetrated left and right. Over the years a degree of both public and private shaming has begun to emerge at this conference, particularly in regards to education, that makes me feel sad for the profession. I have witnessed it first hand, as close friends have been made to feel their accomplishments mean nothing without advanced degrees; I’ve listened (astonished) in public forums as those who should be mentors explicitly tell audience members that they need to dumb their content down for the non-PhDs in the room; and of course, I’ve had more nurses than I can count worry to me about whether they will have a place in the organization 5-10 years down the road if they don’t go back to school.
As someone who once led this organization, who has done this work for more than 2 decades now, and who is pretty committed to mentoring, I implore people to make this conference an opportunity to raise up the level of discourse and collegiality in the profession. You can encourage people to achieve their educational goals without forcing your agenda (or worse, threatening their inevitable extinction). We do need to figure out what entry into practice looks like, but we also have to be cognizant of the access to care issues that are so critical to the patients for whom we care. There isn’t one right answer, or one right way, which is the beauty of this work we do. Line up 10 forensic nurses, you will get 10 very different backgrounds and 10 very different motivations for practice. I challenge people to deploy aggressive kindness in Orlando–especially the veterans among us. Disagree and critique, by all means, but attempt to do it in a way that doesn’t make people feel like they shouldn’t be doing this work. Mentor widely. Network with abandon. Get to know the new faces and voices who have joined us in the profession.
I’ll be live tweeting when and where I can this week (#4N6RN), but posts may be light. If you’re an FHO reader, please come find me and say hello. You know how much I love meeting all of you. I’ll be presenting 4 sessions this year, including 2 with Sasha Rutizer (so you know we’ll be laughing in those); one with the always super-smart Dr. Rebecca Campbell; and one with my colleague from the Army, Carol Haig, talking about the work we’ve accomplished this year (it’s been a really fascinating shift for the military). I look forward to seeing some of you there.
And now, without further ado, here’s what’s caught my eye since last we spoke:
Such a powerful read from a sex crimes prosecutor
It’s that time of year again
Starting teens on the right social media path
My smarty-pants college roommate discussed the connection between binge drinking and addiction
What slavery looks like today
Is abuse killing twitter?
Speaking of which, a fascinating look at 10 year’s worth of online harassment
Tips for giving a data-heavy presentation
As we see October come to a close…
And finally, it all really boils down to this, doesn’t it? Why Earth is the best planet: