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Historical models of resilience
chapterposted on 2019-10-28, 00:00 authored by Donna BrienDonna Brien, T Potter
One of the defining characteristics of modern life is an orientation toward the future. Nurses and nursing students are often very aware of the changes happening constantly in healthcare because of biotechnological discoveries and inventions. The future for health workers is awe-inspiring. As all workers, and all people more generally within society, need to contemplate the future and how it may change daily life, there is a formal interdisciplinary field called Future Studies or Futurology, which works to predict future trends and events (Bell, 2003). With change occurring at an unprecedented rate in almost all parts of life, in the future all aspects of existence, including work, will be very different from today in significant ways. Futurology proposes that it is, therefore, important that everyone in society—from governments, industry, businesses, professions, and organizations to single individuals— think about the future effects and ramifications of these changes, in order to make the best decisions now and face the future with a sense of optimism. As Futurology recognizes, however, purely forward-focused thinking not only diminishes conceptions of the value of the past, but can also limit the potential to understand both the present and the future. This chapter hones in on the notion that understanding the past can help nurses think more critically about both the present realities of, and future directions in, nursing and healthcare. We argue that this critical thinking is a life resource for making sense of challenging issues and wicked problems. It is, we believe, a resilience strategy—invaluable for nurses themselves, but also a strategy to encourage patients to consider. Thinking about the past illuminates the directions one wants to take in the future.