HAT course reflection #4 

In this blog post on the last session of the HAT courseCoping with Crisis: Wellbeing and Growth’, HAT intern Stanley reflects on more of the drama practices we explored, and seeing how that can apply to a nurse in their everyday interactions. Enjoy!

This marks my last lesson of the HAT course ‘Coping with Crisis: Wellbeing and Growth’, which has been a short but memorable four weeks. As I summarized its impact on me in my daily life in last week’s blog, let me now share my thoughts on more of the acting and drama practices. 

Continuing from last lesson, in this session we performed more ‘Forum Theatre’ role plays. In playing the role of a patient on the receiving end of a medication nearly gone wrong, I witnessed how the nurse was sandwiched in a difficult situation. Stuck between commands which all needed to be done immediately, I recalled the same stress in dealing with house chores in my family. Here, the course demonstrated an example on how to understand what your and other objectives are in that situation, and how to negotiate a way to achieve them. 

Another exercise I performed was the ‘15-minutes late’ scenario [where two people improvise a scene in role as an employer and employer when the employee is 15 minutes late]. Here, I experienced and performed a change in status as an employer, as I talked to the late worker with varying tone of voice, hand gesture, and pattern of my speech.

In playing the character, I reflected on my past experiences. First, using an assertive tone reminded me of the discipline teachers in secondary school. They sternly countered ‘disobedient’ students, leading to tough-but-illogical statements of “If you know you’ll be late, why not wake up earlier?” On reflection, their aggressiveness feels like an attempt to be authoritative, but also reflects a lack of understanding of the students’ situations, which often are assumed to be just excuses. 

In the ’15 minutes later’ scenario you change status. When I was at a lower status, I modelled hand gestures and changed the pattern of my speech, reminding me of my anxiety in public speaking. I was surprised to hear a strong rebuttal from the worker, who was now playing a high status, adding another stumbling block in reaching a solution. I learnt that often the best solutions are found when worker and employer have and share similar levels of status.

To close, as an outsider to healthcare the scenarios we explored were still relatable to me, as I recalled figures that use similar speaking tactics. The end of the course also marks the end of this weekly journal. It’s been a fresh and fruitful journey to me. I hope you had enjoyed reading them, as much as I enjoyed remembering and writing down bits and pieces from the lessons! 

By NG Pak Wing (Stanley)

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