Student Nurses collaborate with older people in the production of a radio play
Monday 16 July 2012
Student nurses at the University have teamed up with older people to create a radio show aimed to increase awareness about the needs of patients. The radio show 'Making Friends' sends out a key message, in particular to student nurses, to encourage greater empathy about the needs of patients under their care.
Many older patients feel that nurses today can be aloof or appear uncaring due to a lack of “bedside manner” but the student nurses at the University were very keen to show they are not going to be like that in their careers in nursing.
Over a four month period, student nurses and older people met to generate ideas and materials for the play which was subsequently written by Ann Emery. It was performed by Forum members of Age UK West Sussex and by students in the School of Health and Social Care at the University.
Penny Knight, one of the student nurses, commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the project and felt it was very clever how all of our ideas were incorporated into the final piece.
“I feel that this experience really highlighted the importance of simple gestures and actions in nursing, whether it is simply talking to someone or making them a cup of tea. It was good to be able to discuss these issues with fellow students and the Age UK West Sussex Forum Members as this emphasised how important they are in nursing and the impact they can have on people.
“I feel that everyone involved has taken something positive from this experience, including me.”
Dr Khim Horton, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care, said: “Some people have stereotypical views about ageing and what we are trying to address through this radio play is to challenge and hopefully change the culture of practice among our students.
“This innovative approach of involving students and older people working together and learning from one another is very rewarding.”
Ann Emery, who wrote the play added: “It has been an enriching experience and I hope the play will provide opportunities for fruitful discussion with students and older people.”
The play was recorded in the television studios at the University by Brian Johnson and sound design and editing was performed by Ian Arber.
The project entitled AFRESh (A project on FosteRing Empathy between Students and older people - a practical approach) was collaboratively designed and managed by Ann Emery (Age UK), Dr Khim Horton and Dr Anne Arber (University of Surrey).
The project was made possible by a grant from the Averil Osborn Fund.
Left to right Owen Davies, Penny Knight, Rebecca Burridge and Helen Mills.