What we do
Careful is a dance/theatre performance designed to encourage reflection and discussion of compassionate care among nurses and healthcare professionals. Putting audiences in the care of five busy nurses, it identifies key stressors that can diminish nurses’ capacity to provide patient-centred care. Accompanying artist-led workshops use theatre techniques to enhance non-clinical capacities, such as non-verbal communication, resilience, self-care and teamwork. Led by Alex Mermikides, a theatre expert at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Chimera creates artworks and impactful educational and research events about, with and for the medical domain. Careful, and its accompanying training programme, was developed in collaboration with the nursing department at Kingston University. Careful is also inspired by the nurses Alex met while supporting her brother through long and high-risk treatment for blood cancer. Drama-based approaches to nurse education have been growing in popularity and sophistication as part of a renewed emphasis on the humanistic values of care and on experiential learning (Arvekley et al, 2015). Evaluation of Careful by an independent researcher at the University of the West of England indicates that audiences gain enhanced understanding of the subjective experiences of caring encounters through a novel and memorable event. A survey of a workshop on non-verbal communication for preregistration adult nurses found that it led to more nuanced awareness of this topic, and increased confidence in using body language to enhance patients’ feelings of security. The project was supported by Arts Council England.