Transforming Challenging Patients into Interesting People - Creative Writing as Burnout Prevention for Health Professionals

Hilton Koppe

Abstract


And now for something completely different….. As health practitioners, we are involved in writing “stories” every day. The patient record is our interpretation of our patients’ stories (History) and a summary of our response to this (Examination and Management Plan).

This record does not allow for much creativity on the part of the writer, and is very limited in its ability to assist the health practitioner in making sense of what has gone on for them at a personal level. To assist in remedying this problem, this workshop will use creative writing as a tool to assist in burnout prevention.

The workshop will allow participants an opportunity to experience the use of stories and creative writing as a means of helping them to better manage some of the more challenging aspects of their working life, and to better make sense of what it means to be a health practitioner.

Practical writing exercises across a range of styles will assist participants in reflecting on the effect their clinical practice has on their lives with the goal of increasing their enjoyment of work, and of life in general. These simple writing exercises will magically transform challenging patients into interesting people. No previous writing experience is required. Most of all, it will be an opportunity for some light hearted fun with colleagues.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the workshop, participants will have had the opportunity to

1. Learn knew skills in creative writing

2. Reflect on what it means to be a health practitioner through the use of structured writing exercises

3. Develop skills in using reflective writing as a way of personal debriefing about experiences at work

4. Reignite previously lost passions for creativity

5. Marvel at the brilliance of their colleagues

6. Share some of their creative brilliance with colleagues, if they choose to.


Keywords


creative writing; patients’ stories



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26443/ijwpc.v1i1.8

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ISSN: 2291-918X, © McGill University Library