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INNOVATION
The Science of Storytelling | Part 3
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We at Straightaway are big fans of storytelling. We use stories in our own solution to captivate students and give them a better emotional understanding of the job. You too can draw on your own experience to bring meaning to your instructor-led sessions through storytelling.

Kelly Prince    
April 3, 2019

Last week we talked about the elements of storytelling – now let’s dive into how we can implement those elements into your classroom!

To weave a story into your course materials, it’s best to review the course content first.

Tie Stories to a Key Learning Point

Determine what you need students to remember about the material. Your story should incorporate the material in a meaningful way. You can frame this as a problem to be solved. Some examples of these types of stories are, “how I protected my patient’s personal health information (PHI),” or “how I prevented an infection,” or, “how I reported a symptom that prevented a patient’s decline.”

Establish a Setting

“It was 2002 and my first day as a Nurse Aide at the rehab center in Houston.” Your opening sentence should aim to grab the attention of learners. This can be accomplished by describing a setting that your Nurse Aides will see as relevant to their own futures.

Have Something Happen

Opening a story with an exciting incident can draw your learners in and keep them engaged. “It was 2002 and my first day as a Nurse Aide at the rehab center in Houston. The adult children of my COPD patient, Mr. Alexander, were hovering over me at the nurses’ station, demanding to see their father’s latest lab results.” From the first paragraph, learners will want to know what you did to manage that situation – this set up is also an easy tie into several lessons. One example is to discuss the importance of HIPAA and PHI.

Define the Characters

Help your students know who it is you cared for and the people you worked with by using detail to bring them to life. This will drive your students to ask questions about who they were and will want to learn more about who they were and what motivated them.

Plan the Narrative

This can just be a list of talking points. You may know the experience by heart but take a bit of time to ensure you hit the high points: exposition, tension, conflict, resolution.

As you can see, we at Straightaway are big fans of storytelling – this is why we use it in our own solution; our video series depicts the lives of caregivers and residents that you, as a Nurse Aide, will grow to care about and become invested in. We use stories to captivate students and give them a better emotional understanding of the job. You too can draw on your own experience to bring meaning to your instructor-led sessions through storytelling.

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