Drama as an Experiential Technique in Learning How to Cope with Dying Patients and their Families

Patrick Deeny, Mary M. Boyd, JRP Boore, C Leyden, Eilis McCaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper discusses a teaching experiment in which participation and observation of a drama helped first year nursing students to consider ways of dealing with death and dying. Workshops included dramatised scenarios of critical incidents demonstrating different peoples' experiences of the death of a fictional patient in hospital. Two nurse teachers performed a two-part drama about the experiences of a patient just diagnosed with terminal cancer. Live performances were presented to large groups of students and followed by small group discussions. Drama as a teaching method was well received, and the combination of drama and group discussion was considered very effective by students, who requested more similar sessions. Drama appears highly satisfactory for achieving learning in the affective domain, and can be added to teaching methods for improving communication skills and coping strategies with nursing students who will be caring for the dying. However, further research is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-112
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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