5 Inspiring Healthcare TED Talks

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (the ones we share range from 7-15 minutes). We’ll share five that really stayed with us after listening to them – the stories range from Australia to America, but the message resonates anywhere. (Get your tissues ready.)

1. A tribute to nurses

Carolyn Jones shares brave and compassionate stories about exceptional nurses – but if you have ever had your own experiences with nurses, you know that she could be talking about any of them. The talk reminds us of the nurses we’ve met (and worked with) ourselves, and reminds us of all the reasons we are thankful for the incredible people who dedicate their lives to nursing.

2. Let’s talk about dying

Intensive care doctor Peter Saul talks about death frankly and honestly. It is maybe the least shocking to those of us who have worked in healthcare, but it can be eye-opening anyway. We can’t control if we’ll die, but we can “occupy death,” he suggests. Peter asks us to think about the end of our lives — and to question the modern model of slow, intubated death in hospital.

3. How my dad’s dementia changed my idea of death (and life)

With warmth and grace, Beth Malone tells the deeply personal story of her dad’s struggle with frontotemporal lobe dementia, and how it changed how she thinks about death (and life). It’s a familiar story for those working in care homes, but is worth to watch just for

4. Your brain is more than a bag of chemicals

Modern psychiatric drugs treat the chemistry of the whole brain, but neurobiologist David Anderson has a more nuanced view of how the brain functions. He shares new research that could lead to targeted psychiatric medications — that work better and avoid side effects. While eye-opening for those interested in the physiology of learning disabilities, anyone can learn from this.

5. Older people are happier

In the past century, we have added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans – it has doubled, in a blink of an eye. Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world – of which compassion is a key ingredient.

We would love to hear your stories and what you thought of the talks in the comment section below!

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