Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A sense of community does make a difference

A couple of things have happened this week at work, that have got me thinking again about community.

On Monday my music therapy colleagues and I had peer supervision. This is a time that I look forward to every month where we get together to talk about our clinical work and try to help each other to see things from a different perspective. We have been doing this since July, and we are really enjoying the process. It was my turn to present an issue, or something that has been bothering me about work. I work in an acute paediatric hospital setting so there are some pretty meaty things that come up sometimes, and this time put aside for us every month is fantastic. We are a small community of 5, but this experience helps to remind us that we are a little community within the larger community of the hospital. It also helps me to realise what a resource I have in my colleagues.

I also went along to the staff choir for the first time. I have been working in this job for just over a year now, and I have been repeatedly encouraged to go along to choir by a number of my workmates. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the opportunity to sing just for me, and not for/with my patients.

I realised it had been a long time since I regularly played music for me.  I mentioned a few days ago that I was hoping to rejoin my orchestra this month, and the choir experience has strengthened my resolve to make it happen. This was another experience of community. The choir is an open choir, no auditions, no previous choir experience, or expertise needed. It is made up of cleaning staff, patient assistants, kitchen staff, allied health staff, as well as doctors, nurses and the CEO. I know of no other opportunity that brings all hospital employees together as equals. Quite a unique experience.

I had a very productive day at work today. I wonder if this is related to the sense of community I felt?
For me it reinforces my view of how important community can be.


  1. WOW! i think that choir is one of the best things i've heard of in long time...it's made of various levels of hospital staff and they get together for the sheer joy of singing. if this doesn't foster a sense of teamwork and community, then i don't know what would because the culture of "staff retreats" in the US is a bit of a joke to me...more proof that ART RULES!

    this post is also a great reminder that it's good to create art for oneself to feed the soul =-)

  2. Love the idea of all levels of staff interacting informally like that. Great for fostering inter area interactions.

  3. I hope you had a good day today too.

    I'm looking forward to seeing you play in the orchestra again. It's been too long.