RCSItogether Bulletin 17 – Energy Management, Global Surgery, Diverse Reading and Ode to Joy

Dear Colleagues,

This week we had both our Summer Townhall and the International Education Forum – while we couldn’t connect face to face as in other years it was wonderful to see how the virtual environment allows all voices to heard through the chat function, definitely a silver lining of our current way of working. Also wonderful to read Prof Kevin McGuigan’s workvivo post yesterday on his contribution to Ireland’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council – a great example of the power of storytelling when trying to influence others. Well done Kevin!

#RCSItogether – Learning

Firstly a reminder that registrations for free access to Coursera are open until the end June, with access to courses available until the end of September. If you wish to avail of a licence you can sign up here. RCSI colleagues have been taking a wide variety of courses over the last couple of months, some popular courses include: Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects, McMaster University; The Data Scientists Toolbox, Johns Hopkins; Positive Psychology – University of Chapel Hill

Many of us continue to spend hours each day in front of a screen at home and we know it is an exceptionally busy time across the university. Rather than thinking about managing our time there is a strong case to reframe the challenge to one of managing our energy instead. There are four kinds of energy we should be looking to sustain: physical, emotional, spiritual & mental. We have attached a sketch note summary of an article by Tony Schwarz and Catherine McCarthy called ‘Manage your Energy, Not your Time’ which distills the key ideas and tangible actions on one page. Their concept of using 3 lenses during challenging times is particularly helpful – Reverse Lens, Long Lens, Wide lens. Click on the attachment to read more!

Finally next Wednesday there’s a free webinar on the topic of “What Makes a Good Life?” – Prof Robert Waldinger from Harvard Medical school will explore the findings from their 75 year long study on what factors really matter for living a good life. He will share  insights on the vital nature of human relationships and how we can use them to improve our lives and help each other in this crisis and beyond. You can book your place here.

#RCSItogether – Health Science

As you will have read earlier this week, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Mark Shrime as the O’Brien Chair of Global Surgery at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Professor Shrime will lead the university’s Institute of Global Surgery in its work to address the provision of surgical care in low and middle-income countries.

Please click here to read an overview and key messages the ground-breaking Lancet Commission Report; ‘Global Surgery 2030’ which Professor Shrime co-authored and highlighted the stark and troubling deficit in the equity of surgical and anaesthesia care globally. Equally, we would encourage you to visit The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery website where you can read the full report and have access to a wealth of interesting, thought provoking and digestible material on how the Commission is developing and assembling the best evidence on the state of surgery worldwide, to study the economics of surgical and anaesthesia care delivery and to develop strategies for improving access.

#RCSItogether – Minding Others

Earlier this week Judith Gilroy shared resources on Workvivo on how to commit to anti-racist parenting and links to ensure children have diversereading optionsthis summer. You can find them here.

For those of us who are both working from home and balancing parenting responsibilities, the last 3 months may have been the most challenging you’ve had as a parent. In this podcast from the Work Well series, leading child and adolescent psychoanalyst and advanced nurse practitioner at St Patrick’s Mental Health Hospital, Dr. Colman Noctor, takes a look at the implications this pandemic has had on our work and family lives and discusses the impact of social isolation on our wellbeing and our children’s wellbeing. 

#RCSItogether – Minding Yourself

This Sunday 21st June, Ireland’s music organisations invite the nation to perform in a tribute to our frontline workers for European Music Day. To launch the tribute, some of Ireland’s finest musicians and singers will perform ‘Ode to Joy’  streamed live from the steps of the National Concert Hall, Dublin at 6pm. Once this is finished, the nation’s musicians and music lovers will then be called on to perform their own tribute to all our frontline workers within their local communities, while maintaining physical distancing. Participants are also asked to share their performance live on social media with the hashtag #OdeToJoyIE. All genres and styles are encouraged, from Jazz to Classical, Traditional to Pop, Rock, Rap or even just your voice! You can find more information here.

You might also be interested in this article from Verywell Mind which discusses the positive psychological effects that music can have on our mood, feelings, behaviours and thoughts. Two points to finish – firstly, a heads up that we will be asking all staff to take their annual mandatory online training over the summer months – this year we’re required to do General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Unconscious Bias. As you know this usually takes place in spring, but in recognition of the demands on staff during that time, we have held off on the training request. Everyone will have until the end of August to complete both courses so please do plan to find an hour in your schedules to do this important training during over the summer months. Further details to follow.

Finally for this week, a reminder that today we will raise the Pride and Trans flags to mark Pride Week 2020. The LGBT+ Pride Staff Network have planned a week of online activities to celebrate including a special issue of this bulletin next week – #RCSIproudtogether. You’ll find more details on Workvivo throughout the week and a poster of the planned events is attached.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Barry and the HR Team