Wholeness of healing: an innovative Student-Selected Component introducing United Kingdom medical students to the spiritual dimension in healthcare.

David Bell, Mark Harbinson, Gary Toman, Vivienne Crawford, Harold Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This Student Selected Component (SSC) was designed to equip United Kingdom (UK) medical students to engage in whole-person care. The aim was to explore students' reactions to experiences provided, and consider potential benefits for future clinical practice.

Methods: The SSC was delivered in the workplace. Active learning was encouraged through facilitated discussion with and observation of clinicians, the palliative team, counselling services, hospital chaplaincy and healing ministries; sharing of medical histories by patients; and training in therapeutic communication. Assessment involved reflective journals, literature appraisal, and role-play simulation of the doctor-patient consultation. Module impact was evaluated by analysis of student coursework and a questionnaire.

Results: Students agreed that the content was stimulating, relevant, and enjoyable and that learning outcomes were achieved. They reported greater awareness of the benefit of clinicians engaging in care of the "whole person" rather than "the disease." Contributions of other professions to the healing process were acknowledged, and students felt better equipped for discussion of spiritual issues with patients. Many identified examples of activities which could be incorporated into core teaching to benefit all medical students.

Conclusion: The SSC provided relevant active learning opportunities for medical students to receive training in a whole-person approach to patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1209
Number of pages6
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Volume103
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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Medical Students
Students
Delivery of Health Care
Problem-Based Learning
Hospital Chaplaincy Service
Patient Simulation
United Kingdom
Workplace
Counseling
Patient Care
Teaching
Referral and Consultation
Communication
Observation
Learning

Bibliographical note

Teaching or Research: 15147

Cite this

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N2 - Objective: This Student Selected Component (SSC) was designed to equip United Kingdom (UK) medical students to engage in whole-person care. The aim was to explore students' reactions to experiences provided, and consider potential benefits for future clinical practice.Methods: The SSC was delivered in the workplace. Active learning was encouraged through facilitated discussion with and observation of clinicians, the palliative team, counselling services, hospital chaplaincy and healing ministries; sharing of medical histories by patients; and training in therapeutic communication. Assessment involved reflective journals, literature appraisal, and role-play simulation of the doctor-patient consultation. Module impact was evaluated by analysis of student coursework and a questionnaire.Results: Students agreed that the content was stimulating, relevant, and enjoyable and that learning outcomes were achieved. They reported greater awareness of the benefit of clinicians engaging in care of the "whole person" rather than "the disease." Contributions of other professions to the healing process were acknowledged, and students felt better equipped for discussion of spiritual issues with patients. Many identified examples of activities which could be incorporated into core teaching to benefit all medical students.Conclusion: The SSC provided relevant active learning opportunities for medical students to receive training in a whole-person approach to patient care.

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