Seminar

The Impact of Story in Shaping Strong, Sustainable Interprofessional Behaviors

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm EDT

“Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories bring us to wisdom” (Remen, n.d.). Throughout history, humans have used stories to communicate and connect. This seminar showcases how educators can use stories to create meaningful IPE experiences that help shape strong, sustainable interprofessional behaviors from the beginning of a student’s health care education. An expert panel of IPE educators from MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) will illustrate how creative use of narrative, through a fictional story woven into an interprofessional curriculum, helps learners discover, connect, and make meaning of their own and others’ experiences. Stories can spark emotions and encourage empathy, an essential component of team-based care. When this happens, students move from merely understanding concepts of interprofessionalism to connecting on an emotional level that firmly establishes its value in practice.

In this seminar, IHP’s IPE educators will share how a multiprofessional common reading program can be leveraged to build foundational collaborative skills and optimize practice in the interprofessional clinical learning environment. Panelists will share the evidence and benefits of this innovative yet simple educational approach and describe the program’s evolution, lessons learned, and plans for future development.

Preliminary program outcomes highlight that when incoming health professions students read and discuss during orientation the same work of fiction, the experience has an enduring and positive effect on their relationships with colleagues, patients, and families. In bringing the book’s characters “to life” in an interprofessional curriculum using clinical faculty and simulated patients in a case rounds followed by team simulations, students report feeling an emotional connection with the story’s characters as they begin to “see the patient as a person” and family members as important stakeholders in team-based care. Students learn respect for alternate perspectives and begin to appreciate common ground they shared with peers. Through the shared storyline, embedded in their active learning interprofessional curriculum, students begin to connect as a team, reinforcing the value of collaboration and cementing positive habits for practice. Rather than anxiously focusing on a lack of clinical expertise early in their training, the shared story enables students to concentrate on developing foundational interprofessional competencies, such as communication and teamwork.

Using pre-recorded video examples and role-playing activities, participants will move from learning about a common reading program, to acquiring essential knowledge and skills for implementation, including key components of using SPs to effectively portray characters at the center of the narrative, in safe and effective experiential learning. Using role-playing, participants will practice debriefing skills integral to operationalizing the simulation component of the common reading program. Enhancing their ability to engage students in IPE, increase value, and highlight key interprofessional competencies as they apply to practice.

Participants will be able to:

1. Implement a common reading program specific to their IPE needs

2. Train simulated participants to bring a fictional story to life while connecting students emotionally to a narrative learning experience.

3. Use a debriefing approach that enhances student engagement in IPE, increases value and highlights applied interprofessional competencies for practice.