Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Any “older” PhD students out there? This is my latest update in my quest for funding. Enjoy the humor of it all.
The upshot: the review board did not select me. My personal failure was not that I submitted an inadequate, sloppy or mediocre package. No seriously, the critical factor I failed was my age; I wasn’t five or ten years younger. That word trickled down to me from conflicted reviewers, who just about whispered the secret, fearful of backlash. When I called the chair and board on it, they didn’t deny it. And what I have since realized is that some people think I am being too dramatic (oh really!); it is only a trivial infraction (really? really?); the board practices in a utilitarian manner (really.); if you fuss, you are burning bridges (so, really.); and, get over it (reeeally!). So be it. But I love a cause and the dialog is good substance for my journaling (and sharing with you). Again, I digress.
Ironic, isn’t it, that in a geriatric rich field of clinicians, educators and researchers, we too have to deal with ageism? We, as nurses, are challenged to think outside the box, tasked to see every person as an individual, and make meaning from each unique experience. We are bound to principles of ethics, honesty and parity. President Obama remarks that in healthcare we need to make difficult choices for stewardship and it’s about odd-ratios and gambling with money versus long odds for a potentially small payout. I counter that we do need to make difficult choices, but we need to be inclusive, culturally competent, and see the individual as just that, an authentic individual.
But, I would add in conclusion, the foundation is underachieving. It dismisses hardy candidates, clings to unwritten antiquated rules, has cautious agendas and devalues precious assets. It is what it is: ageism. My final salvo: Read the literature and let’s address this head-on, because in our profession when the average nurse age is 47, age discrimination affects hiring, promotion, retention, academia, tenure, research grant money, and fellowships. Oh, and by the way, to the scholarship selection reviewers and advisory board: remember each year I get older, you do too.