TurningPoint in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Southampton

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Mental Health classes are being shaken up at the University of Southampton by James Wilson, Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing. Here in Southampton, James has pioneered the use of Interactive Theatre in health care education – leading to the innovation affectionately known as ‘clickers’ theatre’.

James started using TurningPoint in his classes to test knowledge and spark debate with his students. However in recent times he has integrated the use of Interactive Theatre processes with TurningPoint – thus producing a truly innovative way for his students to interact with a presented piece of theatre.

ResponseCards are provided to each member of the student audience, and a play is acted out in front of them. The play stops at various intervals and the students have to choose the best level of care for that particular person/situation, and then the play continues. James wanted to base the plays on real patient stories, so he approached the human library (an anti-stigma campaign that has human beings available to ‘rent out’ as books). After meeting with the ‘human book’, James then creates a storyboard which depicts the play and the choices that can be made, using Anywhere Polling. Topics of theatre have included ‘LOCD In’ - looking at misconceptions surrounding OCD and post-natal depression.

In giving students this opportunity, their learning has been enhanced and they are fully involved in the direction of the play, and able to see the consequence of their decisions. This produced a sense of democracy as every student gets a vote and evoked debate amongst the various groups who wanted to explore different options.

‘The evaluation by the participants has been overwhelmingly positive’, states James. The project has led to a national award and three county level awards for excellence in teaching; it has also been disseminated at a national level conference and two local level conferences. The evaluation data from both projects showed extremely high levels of active learning and engagement for the student nurses.

Another clicker’s theatre project will be held at the 14th Mental Health User and Carer Conference, hosted at the University of Southampton Faculty of Health Sciences by the Lived Experience Reference Group (LERG), on Thursday 25 February 2016. Turning Technologies will be there to support James and see the clickers’ theatre in action.

To find out more about TurningPoint, visit http://www.turningtechnologies.co.uk or call the Belfast office on +44 (0) 28 9008 0188, or email uk(at)turningtechnologies(dot)com.

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Carly Warke

Carly Warke
since: 10/2009
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