A balanced view somehow sounds boring doesn’t it? Balanced doesn’t sell. Sensational and extreme views are what grab people’s attention. The point to my musing is perhaps best demonstrated by this exchange:
I was speaking to a colleague the other day who bluntly told me how she avoids the news. The topic had come out after discovering that she would be going on holiday to a destination that’s been frequenting the news lately – and not for sun, sea and sand, but for an all together different reason of rising civil unrest and casualties.
This got me thinking about all the bad news that’s reported. Working in health, I am naturally more likely to notice all the flack and bad press that health organisations and health professionals receive. I am also more likely to think the health sector gets a raw deal. Don’t get me wrong, the imperfect systems that health services and people within them work in are prone to mistakes – small and big.
I do believe that the portrayal is unbalanced. I and a lot of people I work with are usually witnesses to remarkable displays of bravery, kindness and humanity. But you will be hardpressed to hear about any of these acts. When was the last time you read a news article about a successful operation that saved a life? A foiled infection that was stumped out by clinicians acting quickly and effectively? A life saved through a compassionate listening ear of a mental health professional?
These and many other acts happen every minute of every day if not more often but you wont ever see them heralded for the great works that they are. And some may be thinking at this point that people who do this work need not have these acts acknowledged: after all they do get paid for their jobs. Well I beg to differ. In my humble opinion, I think there needs to be a balance between broadcasting failures (which we see plenty of) and showcasing successes. This may very well propel those working in health services to thinking differently about their work and dare I say, even take pride in the work they do to look after and care for those who are ill.
To this end, I am doing my little bit and sharing a video of a group of people who have done just that: done what they can to help someone in need and shared their work publicly to encourage others.
Here is a video of some that work: