Had a great day yesterday in Durham with the HOT Lapidus group – (Humber, Ouse, Tweed). We wrote in the morning after a walk in and around the Cathedral and then we had finished writing we then spent over an hour sharing our work and exploring our writing practices and our thoughts and feelings about going public with our poetry. It was lovely supportive day and we had a lovely lunch at a local Pizzeria. In the afternoon we discussed the future meetings of the group and I can now look forward to a day in York in October and a day near Whitby/Scarborough in January next year.
I am also seriously considering treating myself to a week in North Wales in late November at Ty-Newydd. I know where it is and also it is a week exploring writing and health. I now know that is the area I want to work – writing and well-being – be it for patients, carers or professionals. Writing can be good for you it can be great for development and I believe that inner creativity can be harnessed and a new way of looking at the world can emerge thanks to writing in new and creative ways. Gaining the impetus to do more in that arena and use my new shiny coaching qualification is what I need to do.
Professional development has always been my main interest as an educator in nursing and has also widened that of health care practice in general. This week I led a workshop exploring creative writing in health care education for Cetl4health North East and my co-presenter was a wonderful gentleman with Parkinson’s who did a far better job than I did in demonstrating the power of creative writing. His prose and poems showed other participants about the potential of writing and well-being. I did not need 20 slides listing the accumulating evidence; his story showed us all what can be achieved if we allow ourselves to explore our inner world closely with creative writing techniques. Skimming the surface is all we tend to do in health care practice – both in our conversations with patients and in our own practice of reflection. We skim we do not go too deep lest we unearth things that might concern us or might identify issues we might not be able to control. I find this all endlessly fascinating and even now just writing about it I feel a frisson of excitement about the potential for harnessing this all.
Presenting at the session on Wednesday was the guy who helped start up Patient Opinion – I am going to make sure I encourage as many people as possible to access the site and also engage the students in a bit of appreciative inquiry around what they can learn about nursing practice from the comments left on the website. I would love to be case study on the site and then maybe get invited to help facilitate workshops for practitioners about how they can use the information on the web to help develop their practice and also help identify areas for their service improvements. The information is all there it is often about people have the vision and imagination to see how they might work laterally with staff and services to improve the patient/carer experience.
I keep thinking that if I have ideas the others might have them too but I am beginning to realise that I might just have the capacity to have wisdom and insight into how people can use the information available to them. I am also a very good facilitator and that I can work a room and engage most people there to “have a go”, “take a risk” and think differently. I am also learning the flip side of this which is to be very cautious about with whom I share my ideas. I have had my fingers burnt in the past and I have helped people achieve doctorates and promotion with my too generous sharing. I am good with ideas but seriously crap at taking them forward and that is what I have to learn to do. Not just have the ideas but see them to fruition, finish them off and ultimately write them up or present them at conferences and garner a bit of glory!!