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Neuroplasticity of Our Nurses’ Brains

Brain is constantly changing by forming and even growing new neural connections.   This inherent malleability is called neuroplasticity.   Training, experience and environmental factors can help rearrange the brain.  So we necessarily don’t die with the brain we are born with.    

‘Practice makes a man perfect’, and similar other sayings were in fact alluding to Neuroplasticity.  We know this when we practice an instrument, a language or any skill for that matter.  

These days since I breathe Neuro plasticity, its conscious application is the obvious next step.  I’ve had the perfect opportunity to practice this when we get poorly trained and poorly trainable nurses.   

Some of these nurses amaze me with their limited knowledge of nursing.   From ignorance about a Trach tube or a PEG feed, they are clueless about basic care giving like changing diaper, giving bath and changing sheets for a person confined to bed.  Makes you wonder why are they then considered nurses?  Well, that calls for another blog post.

On top of my head I can think of more than handful of nurses to whom I’ve given all the training that a school should ideally provide.  There was a time when I trained three different nurses on three consecutive nights.   Sleep deprivation, repetition of basics for which common sense should suffice and nervousness of the nurses sent me to the bathroom to wail, weep and compose and get back to the routine. 

Its incredible how repetition and constant monitoring would dramatically change some of these girls.   That’s neuroplasticity at work right there! By the end of the month I can almost trust them enough to leave them alone with our father.   They would pick up speed, precision and if I am lucky, show good judgment and keen observation.  


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