John A. Eidson, senior CBET at Saint Joseph London, Catholic Health Initiatives
It’s 4:25 p.m. I’m getting ready to go home and the phone rings. What!? I think to myself. My mind drifts to the worst possible scenario. They probably waited all day before calling. “Biomed, may I help you?” “Yes, sir. I am trying to call my husband to come get me. I’ve been in the hospital for 5 days and I just want to go home.” “Yes, ma’am. Just dial 9 to get an outside line.”
Sitting, ready to panic when the phone rang, I did some interesting self-reflection and realized that my life could improve. Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Sounds about right to me. A task may only take a short while to accomplish, but if left undone, it can hang in our minds and cause us to think about it many times. Procrastination keeps our minds in an “I need to do something” mode, which makes us anxious. Don’t put things off until you are worried. Stay focused, accomplish one thing at a time and move on. Ask for help, but don’t lean on it. Don’t worry about the mule going blind, just load the wagon. At least try to accomplish a task. It is usually easier than we anticipated. If we fail, we will have the pride of trying and usually a good grasp on what needs to be done.
Action leads to self-pride. Everybody knows the great feeling of accomplishment. Motivation yields results, improves morale and self-esteem. Self-esteem is feeling that you are perfectly acceptable as you are and the feeling that you are up to the challenge. Motivation is based on an individual’s desire to achieve. “When an individual gains or maintains self-efficacy through experiences of success, however small, they generally get a boost in motivation to continue learning and making progress” (Mayer, 2010). Self-efficacy is “one’s ability to succeed in a specific situation or accomplish a task.” One’s sense of self-efficacy is the “belief we have in our abilities, specifically our ability to meet challenges ahead of us and complete a task successfully,” is how psychologist Albert Bandura described it. It is our overall belief in our ability to succeed. Self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches life. Self-regulation refers to “an individual’s self-generated thoughts, feelings and actions that are all systemically designed to affect one’s learning,” according to Schunk and Zimmerman, 2007.
It seems to me that self-regulation is the way to control our future. Decide to enjoy life, promote and act on good thoughts. If you have problems, resolve them. I realize that problems can run deep. In 2018, 48,344 people took their own lives according to Wikipedia. Don’t drown in negative thought. The water may not be as deep as it seems nor the bank as far as it looks. Once on the bank, the problem seems so distant. Hopefully, the audience of this article is not so dire. Happiness seems to elude us sometimes. It is not hidden very well, but you do have to look for it and know that it can be found. We can learn to improve our lives. Inactivity, diversion and procrastination will cause problems financially and personally. You should be grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, especially your own.
I learned in an economics class that the most money was not lost due to parts, labor or overhead. Good management is essential and key to success. Use time wisely, stay busy and inspired. Proverbs 16:27 states, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” As for supervision, I think Edgar Guest said it best, “I would rather see a good sermon than hear one any day. I would rather one walk with me than merely tell me the way. The eye is a better pupil and more willing than the ear. Fine counsel is confusing, but examples are always clear.”
Working as a team or in pairs makes for a better repair, and the burden feels shared and not laid solely on an individual. Coworkers will feel more accepted, accomplished and proud. We all have different talents. Somebody is going to be the best and somebody is going to be the worst by default. We all need to feel accepted and important. Our attitude should reflect our faith in others and their ability to be an integral part of a successful team and operation. Treat others as equals because they are. Philippians 2:17-18 reads, “Even if I am poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. You should be glad and rejoice with me.”
Promote training as much as possible. Don’t let wisdom slip through your fingers. If a vendor is repairing or explaining something, learn from it. Never call a vendor without investigating the problem. Try to be on-site in front of the equipment to accept instruction. It is harder to translate from memory or notes and, for goodness sakes, take pictures. When you do call, you will have firsthand experience of the problem. Keep up with the vendor’s preventive maintenance schedule. Understand what a preventive maintenance check includes and call them on it if the procedure is not followed. Teach your expertise and learn from others. Watch the operators. “If you can operate it, you can repair it,” an USAF biomedical instructor said.
I set out to write a biomedical article. I am now undecided as to whether I have written a biomedical, psychological or religious article. In my mind, they seem related, if not integral. Simply put, hard work accomplishes many things. First of all, it gets more done. Second, you sleep better being tired and retire with your mind more at ease. Good rest will give you a better outlook on the day ahead and maybe life in general. Who knows? Maybe we can improve our lives.
As Rose Tremain once said, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”
John A. Eidson is a senior CBET at Saint Joseph London, Catholic Health Initiatives.
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