Introduction

 Module Summary

The concepts of Humanism and Storytelling are closely related both in everyday life and in healthcare systems and training. Indeed, every human being lives in relationship to, or is a participant in a series of human social systems and each case contains a human history of suffering and illness which together require treatment as a person. This module focuses on some reflective practices that can encourage health care practitioners to identify ensure healthcare approaches are grounded in humanistic care.

Key areas covered

  • Placing the patient at the centre of training systems, curricula and pedagogical approaches, for example by giving patients an active voice during the training process.
  • The need for teaching professionals to be self-reflective about their own work
  • The process of reflection
  • Reflection on humanism and storytelling which should be integrated into training programmes.

Learning outcomes

  1. Definition of reflective practice
  2. An understanding of reflective theories
  3. An appreciation of the benefits of reflection
  4. Being able to identify barriers to reflection
  5. Examples of reflective cycles
  6. Understanding how reflection can promote humanistic care

Importance of module to healthcare delivery

Understanding the process of reflection and how it can support humanistic care is crucial to improving healthcare systems. Understanding the connection between humanism and storytelling is important because storytelling brings the whole person to the forefront and enhances the connection between patient and healthcare professional and allows the patient to be viewed in a holistic manner leading to enhanced person-centred care. A key factor is that patient stories are personal and can be very emotional for both patient and healthcare worker, so the system needs to provide support services to ensure both healthcare professionals and patients are adequately supported.

 Importance of module to individual healthcare professionals

A training curriculum that utilises storytelling gives healthcare professionals the opportunity to appreciate individualised care, how to communicate in a way that humanises the patient, and how to create a connection between themselves and their patient. Moreover, reflective practices assist the healthcare professional to get to know themselves and the patient, enhances their ability to convey a sense of caring and compassion, and helps with the emotional cost of caring.