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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

There's nothing like a seven-hour Conflict Resolution Course to get you in the mood for a fight. I'll deck the next person who mentions 'congruent communication'.

But anyhoo, the good news is that I'm now fully inducted (or should that be induced?), and permitted to start work in the morning. The bad news is that my NHS photo ID makes me look like some kind of grinning loon from the psychiatric ward. Frankly I wouldn't open the door if someone showed me that. I blame the chap in the 'ID Suite' (which consists of one computer and a chair) who told me to smile for the camera.

But that aside, today's entertainment came courtesy of a nice bloke called Alan, a former policeman who'd come all the way from Warwickshire to teach us how to avoid fist fights. Apparently 25% of policemen will be physically assaulted during their working life, compared with 33% of nurses, which makes you wonder why nurses aren't given truncheons. Alan asked us why we thought the figure for nurses might be higher, so I put up my hand and suggested it's because policemen all retire at forty-five on fat pensions. Well ok, I didn't. But I thought about it.

Anyway, the day wasn't too bad. I've learnt how to tell if someone's lying (they look to the bottom left), remembering (they look to the top right) or getting angry (they beat you about the head with an intravenous drip stand), and apparently if someone's about to punch you, their face goes white and their lips go purple because the blood drains to their fists. So from now on I'm avoiding clowns, mimes and Michael Jackson.

I've also bonded with a number of people. There's the dietician from Hove who sought me out for a lengthy chat at lunchtime (I think she had some kind of clinical interest in me), a girl with a WWJD wristband who pretended she was bleeding to death so that I could empathise with her in a congruent way, and the nice lady from Endoscopy (or as she puts it, "things up the bum") who told me about the time she was hit by a tidal wave in St Lucia. She was my favourite person on the course because we both made the same face every time the word 'roleplay' was mentioned. I now know that's called Non-Verbal Communication. To make it congruent, you have to complete your roll of the eyes by saying how much you hate roleplay at the next coffee break.


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