A graduation that I attended was a proud moment where
one of the speakers to the nursing school grads and their
friends and families spoke about a principle of not
allowing your core values and beliefs be compromised.
Three components of this principle seem relevant:
Importance of knowing what is critical, what is involved
how to express your core values and what to do if you are
asked to compromise them
Planning how you are going to carry out your
responsibilities with your values and beliefs as a “fore thought,”
not an after thought.
Be more than willing, be able and commit to examining
behaviors to correct them and make them right. Learn from
mistakes and be humble. There is wisdom and intelligence
all around us.
The commencement speaker offered the February 1,
2003 Challenger disaster attributed to faulty o-rings
as an example of how unintended consequences of a
low probability failure mode was allowed to persist,
even though it was known to be a cause of potential
catastrophic problems. It was fixable and should not
have been allowed.
There are many other examples of catastrophes that
have happened, despite real signals of them being
known. Humans cut corners, overlooked partial
occurrences, did not connect the dots with serious
but not fatal previous instances and permitted their
attention to be switched from the most important
Bhopal India methyl isothyanate disaster (1984)
Chernobyl nuclear safety disaster (1986)
Gulf of Mexico off shore rig release (2010)
and many others.
Gen. Duane Deal authored a thoughtful examination
of a large number perspectives. It applies to the
chemical enterprise as much as to nursing and life-
and-death military missions and decisions.
-Chemical Safety first.
-No risky activity should be started until all consequences
are considered and thought through.
-Learn from the lessons of others.