Identifying yourself as a human being in education and medicine: Start with name

Calling others by their name is such a simple and natural act that happens again and again in our daily lives, and usually goes unnoticed until someone we know calls us by our name and Doesn’t surprise us, or overwhelm us with shame, because we don’t know. We can respond with that other person’s name.

Upon returning to face-to-face classes, after the pandemicWith a group of about 40 students, covered with their masks, we played games to begin narrative therapy workshops. One of them was to say the names of the classmates who were before you and then yours, -Juan, Sofia, Maria and I, Mijael – the lucky ones sitting in the front said only a few names, those in the back asked to remember them all. Attempted, some gave up, some nicknames appeared amid laughter and bewilderment.

Hearing students say: – “I was so glad that my classmates knew my name”, “I just came to this course and I didn’t know my classmates’ names”, “This was important to me”. This reminds us of what recognition theory says, We need each other to identify ourselves, In those moments of the pandemic, being socially and physically confined, there was a forgotten part of us.

The field of philosophy has been abundant in pointing out the importance of recognition as the pivot of social and human action., There are basic fundamentals to educate in the pursuit of compassionate citizenship, and if those who prepare to provide health care to populations do not understand that importance in themselves, then we would be starting from a changed perspective. axel hornetThe German philosopher has summarized it in three main aspects and they are Law, Love and Solidarity,

Driven by the health needs of the country and other developments, health careers have seen increasing growth in enrollment and, Those of us in educating roles can actually be passionate about fostering self-recognition, if we pay attention to it.Given that classes or sections of students are becoming increasingly large, we run the risk of neglecting these considerations.

Education starts from a human issue, where feeling respected is an expected beginning and a simple practice, with such a good foundation to help us consider it.

When we are called to health care, when we are particularly vulnerable because of an illness, we imagine an even greater need to be recognized. Let’s imagine those moments when we wait for surgery, or if the orderly comes to pick us up for transfer, hearing our name gives us confidence, it allows us to understand that an attempt is being made to recognize us. And that’s how everything starts better. Healthcare spaces are not just composed of buildings and furniture, those of us who give life to these spaces are people with biographies, and we have long formed our identities in rich interactions with other human beings.,

Naming us and taking a sincere interest in getting to know us a little more humanizes our work and allows us to give more personal attention.

A very simple gesture when we are in small spaces, a great challenge when we are in classes with 40 or more students, and an exercise that makes us all question: how many names do we remember? tried? Is there someone whose name we greet every day without knowing it?

Start with the name, and then move on to other questions that new generations teach us: How do you want to be named? Which pronoun identifies you? With the intention of including everyoneMany times we get trapped in the language we use, the mistakes we make unknowingly.

Pia Flores and Pamela Joffrey

Pamela Joffre is a pediatrician, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and director of the Narrative Medicine Laboratory at Valparaiso University. Pia Flores is a kinesiologist specializing in therapeutic yoga and relational mindfulness, and a member of the Narrative Medicine Laboratory at Valparaiso University.

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