“Bedside Manners” Play DVD and Workbook Help Demo & Teach Healthcare Communication Issues

I’m really excited to let you know that the play Bedside Manners by award-winning journalist and author Suzanne Gordon and Actress Lisa Hayes, is out in a wonderful new version. I have watched this play and recommend it and the workbook for ALL healthcare professional educators, especially those in simulation!

bedside manners dvd

Bedside Manners is a play and workbook designed to improve effective communication between healthcare professionals. Past participants have reported that its use enhances on-going efforts to reduce medical errors and injuries and helps to improve teamwork and workplace civility. This has resulted in improved patient safety and care.

The play is performed as reader’s theater, which means the actors do not memorize their lines but read from the script.

Topical, real-life healthcare scenarios are played out in 21 scenes that run for approximately two to five minutes. Each vignette covers topics ranging from routine daily interactions, to the breakdown of communication between team members in high stress scenarios. They also include examples of excellent teamwork and communication.

Every situation portrayed in the play is based on actual events that highlight both successful and frustratingly poor communication practices.

The best way to perform the play is to recruit members of your facility, students, or participants at a conference to act in the play. Using a combination of professional actors and staff, students, or participants is also an excellent way to present the play. The play can be presented between a half hour and sixty minutes. It is useful to follow up with a discussion or workshop, using the powerpoint provided in the teaching package or suggestions and exercises in the Bedside Manners workbook. The teaching package also contains extra scenes that include many different healthcare professionals.

When performed by professional actors, only 3 to 4 are needed. The play can also be cast with members of your staff. Using a combination of professional actors and staff is the best way to present the play. The play can be presented in less than 60 minutes.

beside manners workbook

Each character expresses the point of view and experiences of healthcare staff. Although the play focuses on the interaction between doctors and nurses, it can be adapted to incorporate the experiences of other healthcare professionals and staff.

Because all sides of communication issues are portrayed, audience members feel “their side” of the story has been expressed. This not only engages the audience members, but gives them the tools to help resolve complex workplace problems, resulting in improved team work, patient safely and job satisfaction.

Cornell University Press has published the play and workbook as a book in its Culture and Politics of Health Care Work series.  The workbook is co-authored by internationally renowned interprofessional education expert Scott Reeves.


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Even more exciting is the fact that they now have a video recording of the play! Thanks to a collaboration with the National Patient Safety Foundation, the play was filmed when performed for 900 people at the NPSF Congress in New Orleans in 2013. You can either purchase the DVD, or rent/purchase the film online through vimeo.

The DVD has an introduction by Patient Safety hero Lucian Leape. Acting in it are physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. The DVD also has a segment on how it can be used as a teaching tool in educational and healthcare institutions, as well as substitute scenes that can be used for different healthcare settings.  As well, included with the dvd is a short powerpoint on Team Intelligence that can be used in post-performance discussions.

You can learn more about the multiple ways to use Bedside Manners as both a powerful tool enhance patient safety as well as teamwork and collaboration in healthcare by going to their website www.bedsidemannerstheplay.com.

SPECIAL EVENT MARCH 5th!

Are you near the San Francisco Bay Area?

You’re invited to the world premiere screening of the play Bedside Manners and the launch of a new documentary film project “Beyond the Checklist” — March 5th at 7PM at Point Richmond.

The widely-performed play Bedside Manners dramatizes how failures in teamwork and communication cause hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths each year.

The film Beyond the Checklist will provide solutions to this tragic problem–ones that have been initiated and implemented by commercial airlines over the past 30 years to make airline travel safer than it’s ever been.

Join them for an intimate gathering at:

The Magick Lantern Theatre – 125 Park Place, Point Richmond, California
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 7:00PM

Film showing will be followed by Q&A with the playwright Suzanne Gordon, film-makers Ed Herzog and Bob Laird, and airline pilot Patrick Mendenhall. The panelists will be discussing their next health care-related film project, narrated by actor Peter Coyote – a documentary version of the book Beyond The Checklist: What Else Health Care Can Learn From Aviation Safety. They hope you’ll think about contributing to a documentary that offers a solution to many of the safety related problems depicted in Bedside Manners. Hosted by: Kathleen Burke, RN, patient advocate, Julia Hallisy, DDS, and former hospital administrator Gail Eierweiss. Wine and cheese will be served!

For more information about this event or to RSVP, simply reply to this email or call 510.842.5282.

For more on Bedside Manners and Beyond The Checklist, see www.bedsidemannerstheplay.com and www.beyondthechecklist.com.


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