What Schools Can Learn From Emergency Rooms

Written on
September 10, 2019
Peter Hostrawser

Today didn’t go as planned. I am sitting in an emergency room with a family member as they go through tests.  I feel blessed that we even have the insurance and the medical facilities around our family and where we live.  It certainly is not pleasant being here seeing a family member in pain.  

I am watching and listening to the staff and other patients around me.  It is phenomenal how patient the staff is and how they are really making people feel as comfortable as possible as they can in their pain and sickness.  

This reminds me of two things in education.  The first are the things our students are going through that we don’t know about.  The second is how we can all learn a thing or two from ER staff as educators.  

I’ll begin with the things kids are going through outside of the classroom.  I know that many of our students don’t have the insurance or the medical facilities around them like I do.  I can’t imagine what that would be like.  The waiting, the cost, the worry.   Should any of my students' families have any kind of challenge in this arena it can sidetrack them or even be a life changing event that can set them back mentally and really on all levels.  I think as teachers we need to recognize these situations more by helping understand our students better.  We really need to support them by getting to know them better and being patient with students going through trauma. 

The second piece is that we can learn so much from the ER staff.  I witnessed the staff being very clear and calm with the patients. They were extremely empathetic and understanding of what people were going through in their moment of need.  They spoke of confidence and helped people build strength.  Again, as teachers, we can learn a lot from this approach.   Our students could be considered our patients.  They need us.  For some of them, we are their daily emergency room.

Being discharged now.  We are on our way.  Everything is better.  Thank you emergency room staff.  We can all learn a lot from you.

Peter Hostrawser
Creator of Disrupt Education
My value is to help you show your value. #Blogger | #KeynoteSpeaker | #Teacher | #Designthinker | #disrupteducation
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