Use of patient narratives (spoken and written) can help medical students/trainees and qualified staff gain an understanding of the patient experience. Patients stories can raise awareness of the consequences of poor communication skills and help the audience/reader acknowledge that treatments can cause harm.
Do you think they can enable staff to acknowledge their own feelings (as well as those of patients) and so come to terms with them - and can their use help bring more compassion into healthcare?
Edited: Oct 23, 2011 @ 10.36pm
We have used Patient Stories previously and are just embarking on this again in our ward. We have found them very helpful in picking up issues that are important to our patients, whether that be problems needing action or positives needing reinforcing and celebrating.
Communication has come up in the past, thankfully in a positive light from a nursing perspective.
You ask of whether they can enable staff to acknowledge their own feelings and so help to come to terms with them? I guess that certainly could be the case if it was done in a carefully structured way. Unfortunetly I'm sorry to say that we have not found the time or resources to look that deeply into using them in this regard. If not done well; professionally, non-judgementally, caringly, developmentally, this could cause harm.
However having said that, I'm sure when the themes of patient stories are shared with a team, that individuals do reflect on them and if that their own communication skills may be impacting on any harm that the stories reveal. This is so because I beleive that the vast majority of nursing staff do bring compassion into healthcare and will always look to bring more if they can. The present financial pressures are making this a greater challange as each month goes by, for while compassion is oft expressed in small simple measures, it does take time and this is what is being lost as more is expected of teams with less staff overall to do give what our patients need.
Edited: Oct 30, 2011 @ 1.13pm