We've always known of the massive potential for the stories people share to support the education and training of new health and care workers. We're delighted to be working with the University of Edinburgh, Nursing Studies staff and students to explore this potential.
Here's a guest blog from Dr Dorothy Armstrong, Visiting Fellow about her views and experience.
Stories have been used throughout time and ancient stories are a well recognised way of passing down wisdom and teachings that the western world has often forgotten. Stories are humbling, thought provoking, problem solving and can be the substance for our hopes and dreams. Stories can evoke emotion and can be a tool which can enable teachers to stimulate real depth of reflection and thinking.
The beauty of using stories in teaching is that every student in the room will relate to a meaning truly personal to them. The story offers a structure and can close the gap between the humanity of personal experience and the theories we strive to promote.
Today I used stories from Patient Opinion to teach first year student nurses about dignity and respect. Of course I mentioned accountability and professionalism and standards of care but the power of the story can be magical! Patient Opinion offers students a unique opportunity to hear, first hand, their experiences of receiving care which was respectful and dignified. We also read about negative experiences and in the wake of the Francis Inquiry, we were able to explore some of the key issues student nurses may face in their future carers.
Following our story telling and listening, we had deep and insightful discussions and I was proud to hear students recognising that for patients, service users and carers to be respected they need to be empowered and engaged in their care – to have a voice and to be listened to and treated as an equal. These students are our nurse leaders of the future and that reminds me of a little story…
‘For all stories are true and yet not true. Every story is complete in its own context, its own reality. Every story therefore reflects a system, a map of the world. Yet just as that map is complete in itself, it is also incomplete because it represents only one among many perspectives.’ Owen 2001
Dr Dorothy Armstrong is Visiting Fellow, Nursing Studies, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, Adviser to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and NLP Practitioner.
Owen N (2001) The Magic of Metaphor – 77 Stories for Teachers, Trainers and Thinkers, Crown House Publishing, Wales.
You can read Dorothy's previous blog here.