The global phenomenon known as TED Talks started as a one-time conference to disseminate the ideas of some of the world’s most innovative thinkers. The Sapling Foundation sponsored the conference to motivate and inspire forward-thinking professionals. For nursing professionals, TED talks inspire them to ask “why?” and provoke other questions by would-be health care practitioners and educators. A speaker might give an aspiring nurse practitioner or educator inspiration to choose a defined career path or champion a particular cause. Through eclectic insights, the following eight TED Talks unleash the hidden genius of today’s nursing leaders and those of tomorrow.
Talk #1. Karen Stobbe and Mondy Carter: Using Improv to Improve Life With Alzheimer’s
Actress, writer and improvisationist, Karen Stobbe, underwent a challenging time during her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Based on that experience, Strobe and spouse, Mondy Carter, composed a stage play about dementia titled “Sometimes You Gotta Laugh.” The duo suggests improvisation as an unconventional method for helping dementia sufferers navigate through difficult circumstances.
Talk #2. Kevin B. Jones: Why Curiosity Is the Key to Science and Medicine
Kevin Jones takes an honest look at the unknowns involved with surgery and health care. Humankind’s natural instincts deeply intrigue the cancer researcher and devoted student of the human condition. Jones presents the argument that medicine is not immune to trial, error and humility. In his commentary, the researcher explains why scientists yield better results after realizing and admitting that they do not have all the answers.
Talk #3. Amy Abernethy: Can Patient Data Have a Second Life?
Amy Abernethy specializes in providing primary care for cancer patients as well as palliative treatment. Medical professionals around the world recognize the doctor as an authority who advocates for patient-centered care giving. Abernethy questions the logic behind information exclusion among medical disciplines and suggests multidisciplinary patient access during treatment.
Talk #4. Patricia Horoho: Confront Harm and Prevent Medical Casualties
Doubly accomplished Lieutenant General, Patricia Horoho, holds titles as the first female and first nurse Army Surgeon General. She began her career as an emergency nurse trained in clinical trauma. The Surgeon General has experienced events on the front lines of some of the world’s most recent conflicts. Speaking from experience, Horoho reveals how bureaucracy and omissions harm patients.
Talk #5. Marc Triola and John Qualter: Can Medical School Be a “Fantastic Voyage?”
Pharmaceutical and communications industry consultant and BioDigital Systems cofounder, John Qualter, is an expert in biomedical visualization and 3D technology. Medical IT expert and researcher, Marc Triola, studies how advanced technology changes the way people learn. In their talk, the trailblazers showcase an online immersive environment that grants students and patients access to lifelike anatomy models. Qualter and Triola profess that the technology increases consumer and caregiver engagement.
Talk #6. Jessa Gamble: Our Natural Sleep Cycle Is Nothing Like What We Do Now
In a clip that reminds nursing professionals that they need sleep too, Jessa Gamble reveals how the body fights against unnatural, self-imposed schedules. The prizewinning journalist, who lives relatively close to the Earth’s northernmost landmass, contends that human bodies cannot withstand modern work habits. Contemporary adults find it difficult to balance parenting, careers and personal well-being. In her talk, Gamble divulges the role that proper rest plays in human health.
Talk #7. Jay Bradner: Open-source Cancer Research
Researcher, Jay Bradner, wants to share a free cure for cancer with the world. He and his team have nearly cracked the code for a drug called JQ1 that may cure the disease. The scientist believes in the power of open source collaboration and wants to advance JQ1 research quickly by sharing his findings. Bradner hopes that transparency leads to the discovery of an administrable cancer cure.
Talk #8. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Regularly published customs and culture researcher, Simon Sinek, has found patterns in how leaders think, act and communicate. The cultural researcher, or ethnographist, penned “Start with Why” and “Why Leaders Eat Last” to explore how leaders inspire collaboration and transformation in others. In his talk, Sinek questions how individuals accomplish amazing feats and explain, using scientific evidence, how human biology drives behavior.
According to the TEDMED Foundation — the independent TED Talk health division — health care innovation begins with imagination. TEDMED leaders hope this mindset leads to new and creative solutions to the world’s medical problems. In a world fraught with misfortune, the organization presents ideas in a way that reminds health care professionals what caregiving is all about — the joy of helping others. Aspiring nurse practitioners and educators may want to view one of these awe-inspiring TED talks. The experience may just give an upwardly mobile health care professional incentive to take the next step in their career.
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