COVID is not as severe as the seasonal flu

Doctors have doctor conventions, pediatrician conventions, and surgeon conventions every year. Well known and successful doctors in those field stand up and give speeches detailing any experiments or trials and research successes they had that year. They have years of experience and notebook full of their research results and medical trials to site so being a new doctor and ordinary bystander you instinctively believe them because they are credible. They have evidence and months, sometimes years, of research and statistics backing them up. If a 1st year doctor got up and started talking about what he had going on you’d be less likely to listen and think of him as credible. He hasn’t got much experience and he probably doesn’t have much research to back him up being he’s just starting out. He doesn’t seem as credible as say a 10 year doctor with years of experience and surgeries under his belt. I think personal experiences make a speaker more credible. You can search a topic all day long on the internet but that doesn’t make you an expert. Someone can youtube and google how to change a tire and think they know everything there is to know, but when it comes down to actually changing the tire they could have some difficulty. I don’t think online research always constitutes credibility but i think it also depends on the situation of the speech

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When hearing a presentation on evidence-based practice, such as new guidelines to be adopted by a hospital to reduce the infection rates of central lines in patients, the most compelling presentation would be one that is well supported with research and statistics backing these new safety measures.  Terri Russ (2017) discusses that an element of critical thinking is to not just jump to conclusions but instead that the critical thinker is inquisitive, that they “question everything that confronts us” (p.2). In other words, what would impress me most by this specific speaking situation would be the clear presentation of the facts, and what quality peer-reviewed sources have to say on the topic.

Does the statistical analysis in the research studies cited, for example, show statistically significant  improvement after adopting a particular safety measure that was implemented to reduce the incidence of central line infections? Also, it may seem obvious but credibility of the speaker is also a key factor in determining the legitimacy of the message delivered.  Watt (2017) says this in a great way, in the context of reviewing source credibility, “One of the most important elements of credibility is qualification” (p.10).  Is the presenter someone who is well educated or whose background is specific to infections? Do they possess the title of epidemiologist, or someone who specializes in emergency preparedness and environmental safety? Do they have a doctorate in their respective field? Russ (2017) also elaborates that critical thinkers evaluate the evidence that is presented to them. In the context of central line infections, my thoughts would be what kind of research was cited? Are they from qualitative or quantitative studies? I would ask this question as the answer impacts the strength of the overall evidence provided. Were they randomized controlled studies and then also, what was the sample size in the study? The purpose of these questions is to scrutinize whether a study is valid, how much we can generalized the findings to the population at large, and whether the quality of information matches the seriousness in addressing patient safety issues.

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During a recent training, a co-worker opposing remote work arrangements made an impromptu speech. Her complaints were COVID isn’t serious, and we are wasting money and productivity working from home.

COVID is not as severe as the seasonal flu. She quoted her favorite news host. His information was reliable because the host was a friend of the President. This is an example of the fallacy, appealing to authority. Other than the word of the talk show host, she offered no supporting details. When presented with contradictory evidence from the WHO, she exercised genetic fallacy by saying the WHO is fake news and our co-worker a politically biased.

She next argued working remote would cost millions of dollars because everyone would need printers and scanners. She failed to understand that digitalizing the department eliminated the need for printing and scanning, and if required, we would still have access to our offices.

In her final argument, she used the false analogy, not having scanners and printers cause a lack of productivity because we can’t print documents for our bosses. Being remote, we can’t give documents to them. Therefore, remote work is unproductive.

Chapter 6 (Russ, 2017) reminds us “critical thinking requires we consciously listen to messages.” She already decided working remotely is unproductive. She lacked open-mindedness and did not offer evidence. Chapter 7 (Watt, 2017) concludes that to appear credible you must offer support for each of your ideas. Samuel Warren Carey once said, “If 50 million believe in a fallacy, it is still a fallacy.” We must always use logic and critical thinking to analyze information and come to logical conclusions.

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As a speaker, it is vital to give to good reasons os to why someone, or the audience should believe what you say. Personally, I am a person that identifies with feelings more than logic and what is true. I tend to make decisions too quickly based on my emotions and what I am feeling rather than stepping back, and truly evaluate what I am thinking or a situation. My emotions somewhat drive what I say in a speech. The trick, i guess you can say, for me, is figuring how to use logic and fact, and my emotions. I am a very emotional speaker, which is a good trait. If I only use emotion and what I feel, that can leave me unvalidated. But if I can use logic and fact first, and then drive home those points personally and use my emotions, that can make for a very powerful speech. Emotions and how we feel should evident and in a speech, but they most coincide with logic and facts. That what makes someone’s speech believable and powerful, you must have both. What makes something very compelling and believable is facts and personal experience. Everyone loves identifying with someone, knowing we all go through the same things as humans. So, personal experience can be very powerful, the speaker relating and becoming vulnerable with the audience.

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