10 Best TED Talks for Nurses

ted talks nursing

We’ve got a treat for you today – TED talks nursing videos. TED talks are some of the most motivational discussions online. We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting, fascinating, and eye-opening TED talks on nursing and health care we could find.

When Eric Dishman was in college, he suddenly started having fainting spells. After months of tests and six doctors across two hospitals, he was told that he had only 2-3 years to live. Listen to his fascinating (and sadly) familiar story and why he now advocates on health care being a coordinated team sport.

Eric is a wonderful speaker and there is no boring minute during his talk. For nurses who already work in such institutions that already practice health care as a coordinated team sport, you’ll be much gratified.

Also Read: 11 Viral Nursing Videos That Will Inspire You

Elaine Meyer shares her first experiences in clinicals and shares her own personal experiences with the health care system. Her story telling is subtle yet touching.

Through her stories, Elaine Meyer shows the importance of genuine and real conversations with patients and their families. She shares how years and years down the road, what families remember were not the medications nor the procedures, but rather the relationships that health care professionals dared to establish.

Elaine Meyer says, “And in this work, we are called upon to be present, not perfect. As Carl Rogers so poignantly teaches us, perfect wouldn’t be good enough.”

Rishi Manchanda has been working in South Central Los Angeles for a decade where patients were locals who lived and worked in challenging conditions. Working with his patients, the good doctor realized the importance of looking upstream, or finding the root of health problems of patients rather than just sticking to treating symptoms.

Some of these “upstream” factors include bad housing or poor diet.

In his talk, he shows how tracing and fixing the social and environmental conditions that underly their patients’ sickness has resulted in a more holistic and improved health care.

Rather than a TED talk, this is an awesome medical visualization that shows the development of a human being from conception to beyond. This is one of the best TED talks nursing students can watch.

Abraham Verghese is a physician, teacher, and author. He starts off his talk with a story of a 40-year old patient who arrested and was resuscitated in the emergency room. When she was whisked for a CT scan to check for blood clots in her lungs, what they found were breast tumors that had metastasized all over her body.

Verghese makes a case for why the rituals of diagnostics must never be done away with or be subjected to shortcuts. For nurses, the good doctor’s TED talk is an inspiration on the importance of human touch on patients.

Also Read: 12 Ways Nurses Can Beat Compassion Fatigue

This TED talk is slightly dated having been given in 2009. Yet, the threat of pandemics is still as real as ever.

If you work with infectious diseases or have concerns about future pandemics, Laurie Garretts’ TED talk regarding past pandemics is very informative.

During his sophomore year, BJ Miller was horsing around with his mates when they made the bad decision of climbing a parked commuter train.

He went up the ladder and when he stood up, the electric current entered his arm and went through his body causing his present disfigurement. Now a palliative care physician, he shares in his TED talk what really matters at the end of life.

Also Read: How Do Nurses Deal With Death – 10 Advice From Fellow Nurses

Dr. Jim Wither has an interesting philosophy when it comes to medicine and healing. His idea was that if you want to aid in people’s healing, you need to be where they are. This led him to start providing medical care to the unsheltered homeless population of Pittsburgh since 1992. He founded Operation Safety Net which is a known street medicine program in the area.

Most of the time, patients aren’t able to fully differentiate the roles of doctors and nurses. In this talk, Carissa Enright, an associate clinical professor who works in Texas Women’s University, try to empower patients to ask the right questions to their healthcare providers. She also encourages and empowers nurses to touch their patients’ lives.

Most patients don’t feel comfortable when it comes to talking about death. This is one good reason why they plan to fail and leave their relatives with a lot of things to deal with.

Judy MacDonald Johnston, in this TED Talk, shares 5 ways to prepare for a good end of life.

We enjoyed all of the talks in this list and we hope that you did too.

Do you know of other inspiring and educational TED talks nursing students and vets can learn from? Share them with us! Connect with us via our FB page!