What do you get when you mix healthcare with performance art?
The answer? Positive cultural change.
More than 350 healthcare staff recently attended performances of an abridged version of the theatrical play Grace Under Pressure at Blacktown and Westmead hospitals.
Featuring verbatim comments from doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, the play tells the story of what it’s like to work in the often unusual and unique world of healthcare.
It deals with themes including:
- Excessive workloads
- Inappropriate levels of responsibility
- Poor behaviours, including bullying and sexual harassment
- Mental illness, and
- Job satisfaction.
The original Grace Under Pressure play is an interpretation of research conducted by the University of Sydney’s Sydney Arts Health Collective.
Commissioned and piloted by the Royal North Shore Hospital’s Pam McLean Centre, the Ministry of Health and seven local health districts across the state, the abridged version at Western Sydney was followed by 12 workshops aimed at inspiring conversations and change within our health system.
During a Q&A session, WSLHD executives discussed the cultural-transformation planned for the next five years, with audience members also given the opportunity to share their ideas for improvement.
Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals Continuing Care Nursing consultant, Sandra Hamill, was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the performance.
“Words cannot describe the benefits of this event and the workshop participation that followed,” Sandra said.
“I left that afternoon feeling just wonderful and so light. The event was truly inspirational, therapeutic and provided a lot of self-reflection.
“Thanks to all involved for creating a positive culture change at WSLHD. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more about what’s in store for the health service.”
WSLHD Organisational Development and Learning Associate Director, Noel Posus, said he was thrilled that so many staff members, including members of the Board and executive, and even a few family members, were able to come along to this performance.
“These events are great enablers for important conversations we need to have and which can inspire change through those conversations,” Mr Posus said.
“We’ll continue to design and host more unique and ‘meaningful progress’ events like this in future. Definitely watch this space!”
The Organisational Development team is currently working on staff feedback to the draft WSLHD Culture Strategy, which was released in early November.