In our ‘Trust Me I’m a Patient’ workshops over the last 3 years we have noticed the ‘fear’ that exists among participants about taking part in role play.
We have delivered this workshop 48 times involving close to 1600 people who work in the National Health Service.
The workshop is about changes to local healthcare services and how NHS managers and clinicians might improve the way they involve local patients and the public in those changes. In a nutshell we re-create a real life scenario and get the folks at the workshop to play a small part as a character in a public meeting to discuss the changes.
People often tell us after the workshop is over that they were terrified of the idea of role play. The good news is that most people feel ok afterwards because we make sure no one is put under pressure to take part. Most of the delegates we have spoken to, and certainly from our written evaluation forms completed by participants after each event, are pleased to have taken part and tell us that using drama is a useful training method.
There is no doubt taking part in role play is out of the comfort zone for many people but as long as it is handled with sensitivity I think the benefits are great.
I often say at the beginning of these workshops that to be outside our comfort zone means we are probably learning and my feeling is that the main outcome of any workshop should be …. To learn …. Or is that logic too simple … even for me?
We are just coming to the end of a series of 25 ‘Trust Me I’m a Patient’ workshops for one National Health Service client. We have delivered the 25 workshops over the last five months and we have had overwhelmingly good feedback so it seems role play is one of the many things in life that sounds worse than the reality.
I would love your opinions about the use of role play in training and your experiences of it.