A set of free drama-based online learning resources have been created to help nursing students who are working during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The learning materials have been made through a partnership between Kingston University and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
In 2016, Kingston University and Guildhall created workshops for nurses, adapting techniques used to train actors.
Guildhall doctoral programme leader Alex Mermikides was inspired to begin the partnership by nurses she met while her brother was being treated in hospital for blood cancer.
Mermikides has now created online resources to help nursing students during the Covid-19 pandemic.
These include the Drama Out of a Crisis online pack, which includes activities, videos and podcasts exploring how to manage unexpected situations and cope with a new environment.
Developed with input from performers, the pack shares strategies used for aspects of actors’ jobs including learning lines and routines quickly, bonding with colleagues and coping with stage fright and other strong emotions.
The videos are designed to fit into nurses’ busy schedules.
Mermikides said: “Students can read a page and understand it in three minutes. If they have 10 minutes, they could watch one of the videos. They will learn techniques that take just two minutes or even 30 seconds, but can make them feel more confident or secure.
“For example, there’s a video by a composer about how sound in a hospital can affect the way you feel and how to develop a way of listening so they, or their patients, aren’t overwhelmed by sound.”
A second learning pack has also been made available: Careful Encounters, which includes a 90-minute theatre performance created by Mermikides and is designed to encourage nursing students to answer questions raised by the production and reflect on their emotions.
The materials have been rolled out to nursing schools across the UK.