I have a valid reason for my slight absence, ya girl got a new job (Praise Jesus!). I got a job at the children’s hospital working in the pediatric ICU as a clinical tech and I absolutely love it! It’s my first time working with kids and it has been amazing.
Now let me get into what I really want to say. I’ve been working in the healthcare field for almost 4 years now and starting my new job made me realize an insecurity I thought I had left behind. Have you ever felt like you had to be different when around some people or you were being judged? If so, then my friends you’re not alone. Now let’s back track to my first clinical semester, unlike most of my classmates, I didn’t have any direct patient care experience, so I was as novice as they came. (of course, in my mind I was Christina Hawthorne). After all the practice we had in skills lab now was the time to put that to use. It came time to do my head to toe assessment and it was like I went mute, I want to say it was nerves, but I doubt it. At the end of every shift we had a post conference meeting, this is where we would discuss our patient’s diagnosis and the care provided etc. It’s a learning opportunity as it allowed us to tap into the critical thinking area of our brain. My first post conference was a hot mess, it was all mumble jumble lol. I’d like to believe that part of it stems from me not having any patient care experience and the other was because I talk really fast and I have an accent, a nice island accent may I add. I’m not one who’s afraid to talk but in this instance, I was very afraid.
Since moving to the US, I became even more proud of where I’m from. I always get great joy when I’m asked, “where are you from ” and no I’m not Jamaican, I prefer to be asked where I’m from instead of assuming. When I realized my new-found shyness was affecting my performance in clinical, I knew I had to talk with my professor. I explained to her that I felt like my accent was getting in the way of me reaching my full potential. My professor told me “first of all I could listen to you talk all day, you have a beautiful accent” she told me to use that to my advantage as it’s the perfect way to build rapport with people and more so patients. The moment she told me that it was smooth sailing thereafter.
Now I’ve mastered code switching don’t get me wrong. You may be wondering” what’s so unique about having an accent?” Living in a country that is considered the “melting pot” of the world people develop insecurities like myself that you didn’t know you have until you’ve been in a similar situation.
I thought I was done with this until I started my new job, I found myself going back to the same shyness when it came to talking. Everyone in my unit from my director, nurses, techs and the cleaners are all fascinated with my accent. The minute I realized I was becoming insecure again about my accent and talking I just thought about how unique it is as well as it being an opportunity to teach someone about where I’m from the next time they would ask.
I say all of this to say, it doesn’t matter what you think others may perceive as being weird or different, it’s important to embrace your uniqueness and use it to your advantage. No two persons are the same, we are all unique in our own way and should be proud and stand tall in who we are.
Have you felt out of place or felt indifferent to others? What did you do to overcome that? I would love to hear. Feel free to share your experience below in the comment section.