Using lived experience stories and anecdotes to enhance mental health nurse education
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using lived experience stories and anecdotes to enhance mental health nurse education

Alan Pringle Assistant professor in mental health, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England
Mike Smith Health lecturer, BPP University School of Health, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To appreciate the importance of understanding people’s lived experiences to make sense of the complexities of mental health nursing

  • To recognise the potential benefits and risks of using stories and anecdotes to teach nursing students

  • To reflect on the techniques nurse educators and healthcare professionals could use to engage students with learning

Over the past few years, there has been a move towards incorporating ‘lived experience’ stories and anecdotes in the education of mental health nurses. This typically involves a service user sharing their experiences of their mental health condition, the care they have received and the effects this had on them. In this article, the authors propose that the use of lived experience stories about, and delivered by, nurse educators and healthcare professionals themselves can also be an important component of nurse education. Often nurse educators tend to use such stories and anecdotes in response to students’ requests for clarification or examples, but the authors suggest that there should be a shift towards using them as a foundation for their teaching sessions. This approach could support students to engage with the emotional, ethical and spiritual aspects of the issues being discussed, rather than focusing solely on the intellectual aspects.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2022.e1575

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

alan.pringle@nottingham.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Pringle A, Smith M (2022) Using lived experience stories and anecdotes to enhance mental health nurse education. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2022.e1575

Published online: 22 February 2022

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