Saturday, June 25, 2011

If the gut works...

As a dietitian, we have a mantra "if the gut works, use it". This is particular to a patient who may have been intubated (breathing tube in the mouth), or had been in the hospital without food for a few days - when re-initiating feeding these patients, it is always best to use our natural digestive system. If the mouth is out of commission, put a tube in the nose or stomach and use that gut! Use the gut rather than feed through the veins, to put it simply.
However, this mantra is paramount in other situations besides nutrition in the critically ill. We get a gut feeling about things and it should be listened to without needing explanation. I toured a facility that offers a very flexible summer camp - the facility also functions as a reputable preschool in the area - and I have gotten nothing but good reviews about it from other parents and educators.
I sat in on a class there and viewed the whole place. The class was managed well, nicely sized and stimulating for the kids. But for some reason when I went out side where the kids would be playing in the summer, something didn't sit right. Most places will have some sort of water, mostly a sprinkler on site. This school had a sprinkler and they had a pool that was very shallow and covered. I think that did it for me. I envisioned pure fun for the kids and they have clearly been executing this summer camp for years with out a hitch that I knew of, but it wasn't going to slide for me. I guess I am not comfortable with a complete stranger having that comfort level with my girl's body - changing in swim suits - I didn't ask about the procedure of that, male or female, and I don't know if the staff is new or temporary over the summer, but I am guessing some staff may be. So - less stringent with selecting staff, less clothing on little vulnerable people, more kids to keep safe and that chaos to hide behind.... it didn't sit right, and that was the end of that.

We tend to rationalize things - I could go through a slew of reasons why I am being hypersensitive or paranoid and give the strangers the benefit of the doubt. But I believe sometimes, our initial "gut" reaction does not need any explanation, and will be best put to use without any explanation. It is pure, God-given intuition that far too often gets pushed aside.
If the gut works, use it!

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