The Role of Story-telling in Health Care
We understand ourselves and others through the stories we tell and that holds true when it comes to describing the social and health care we receive. Dr. Clive Baldwin, Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies, is exploring the role of narrative within social and health care as a way to help improve professional practice and quality of care. Baldwin’s research is exploring the dynamics of narrative within a large social care setting and is touching upon organizational structures and communication, leadership, power, control and surveillance. Social and health care professionals are frequently presented with ethical dilemmas. While much has been written about narrative ethics—which deals with how we think about morality as part and parcel of the stories we tell—there has been little research in this field using direct observation. Baldwin is creating and evaluating a training program that will explore the usefulness of narrative ethics in social and health care. In addition, he is developing training materials and support for care staff that will contribute to the wellbeing of social and health care services users. Baldwin is also drawing on literature, creative writing, autobiography, diaries and film to explore the usefulness of narrative in developing the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and character of people entering the caring professions. His research will contribute to the improvement of professional practice and improve understanding of narrative as theory and method in social and health care.