There are many paradoxes in life and many of these are concentrated in the realm of health and medicine (a major sub-division of life and death).
For decades the link between poverty and standards and quality of health has been recognised and politicised in the media and policy. Just this past week was news of a Bill to make the eradication of child poverty a legal obligation not something that can be the political objective at the start of a Government and then cast aside.
Many things are relative and poverty is often described in this way applying to individuals, social classes, communities, regions and whole nations. Using the knowledge domains of Hodges' model what reflections does this prompt? Let us see:
INTRAPERSONAL: On one level highlighting poverty here appears a nonsense as usually we think of material wealth; the ability of people to be able to put decent quality - nourishing food on the table. In the miserable trap that poverty presents, it is perverse to suggest that health and social care workers - indeed all 'customer facing personnel' seek poverty. But they should exercise: poverty of thought.
Health and social care are often couched in terms of being a safety net, especially in community care - this conception emphasizes health and social care as a physical resource. In the intra-interpersonal domain though we are concerned with individual mental life, beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and emotions....
So here it is as if we must adopt the philosophy of Bruce Lee and turn the 'art of fighting without fighting' into the 'art of caring without caring' through a momentary forgetting in order to care effectively. We suspend our thoughts - take a mental breath, bring our training and current evidence to the fore. The conceptual safety net does not work if it comes pre-filled with bias, prejudice, pre-conceived ideas and negative expectations. There is of course a very poignant irony in calling for people to forget, suspend belief - even for an instant - at this time and in this domain. For health and social care workers in wiping the slate clean we do not think, but are VERY receptive to what follows.
Image source: BBC
safety net: http://blogs.jamaicans.com/metinking/2009/04/30/a-jamaican-legacy-that-deserves-our-support/
Additional links: 'Poverty' on W2tQ
Political care (knowledge) domain links resource
COMMENT - 22 June 2009:
Would this article of mine along with its rapid responses add to your discussion?
http://ukpmc.ac.uk/articlerender.cgi?artid=478323 (full text)
Would you like to send me a book chapter on your experiences with the Hodges model in healthcare?
Many thanks for your input and invitation. I don't think I could make the deadline for the book which is a pity, I've completed two book chapters for IGI thus far. The website is priority and Drupalcon Paris. I will think about this though and e-mail you soon - or please contact me directly at h2cmuk at yahoo.co.uk.
I've another three posts with this title. The post above rather grew to stand alone.
Anyway thanks again your input is most welcome and appreciated.