The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates how perception is often disguised as fact. We’re all experiencing the same exact virus, yet are quite divided on the so-called facts of the virus. Go out or stay home. Wear a mask or don’t wear a mask. Socialize with friends and family or don’t socialize. Eat in a restaurant or prepare meals at home.
Each of the above decisions will be backed up with facts when you listen to the person arguing their case. The truth is most of our decisions come from perception, not fact. This makes some facts more true than other facts (even when they’re not true at all) in the mind of the person perceiving them. In the case of COVID-19, the source of our decision can be as simple as our political beliefs or the news tribe we rely upon for facts.
The same Thought for Success can apply to attorneys. Why are attorneys scary to some RNs who want to become legal nurse consultants and not scary at all to others? The answer is perception, not fact. Attorneys are constants – they don’t change. What changes from one RN to another is the perception in the mind of the RN. The same RN that willingly faces down a physician or supervisor may blanche at the prospect of speaking to an attorney – someone who is simply another human being.
I respect perception (especially my own 😊), but I attribute my decades of success in the legal nurse consulting specialty to being a seeker of the facts. Like a good trial attorney, I constantly consider and argue the opposing side’s case. I challenge my thoughts, perceptions and even the sources from which I attempt to derive the facts. This way I know I’ve got a better shot at making solid, fact-based decisions, not unreliable decisions based upon perception.
Let the same scrutiny you use to research the standards of care for a medical malpractice case guide you in challenging your own perceptions. Avoid information overload because more is not always better and may muddy up your thinking. When in doubt use good old-fashioned common sense. Perception is often disguised as fact and will get in the way of your #CLNCsuccess if you let false perceptions prevail.
Success Is Yours,
Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD
P.S. Comment here and share how you fact-check your perceptions.