An article I wrote for Nursing Standard came out today – ‘Focus on the Facts.’ The article is about objectivity and how decision-making in the workplace can be affected by personal opinion. It is primarily about evidence-based practice and how healthcare professionals can be swamped by so much information that objectivity becomes a complex maze.
As a researcher, I know the importance of reflexivity and being aware of how our own emotions and experiences can bias the way we act or the way we interpret something. Reflexivity is particularly important in healthcare, where the health professional needs to ensure that patient well-being comes first, over and above any personal beliefs, prejudices, or biases. This is not easy to do as thoughts and actions based on subjectivity are usually at the subconscious level.
I suppose my key message here is that being objective in emotionally demanding work is a skill and an asset that requires a concerted effort.