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What is a narrative? Discuss.

Order Description

The assessment method will involve the student in interviewing a patient / client / carer with consent and then writing a patient narrative that explores the patient journey.


Theoretical Assessment: 3,000 word assignment. This assignment consists of two elements:

I. Gaining permission and obtaining a patient narrative whilst on a twelve week host trust placement.

II. Constructing and annotating the narrative using psychological and sociological theories.

Both elements are important. In order to write an assignment there is requisite to have acquired a patient story and can demonstrate an understanding of how health and illness has impacted on their lives.

Summative Assessment:
The assessment method will involve the student in interviewing a patient / client / carer with consent and then writing a patient narrative that explores the patient journey. The narrative will be annotated using the theories espoused in the module to explicate the patient’s circumstances and their perspective of their condition.
1. What is a narrative
Basically a patient narrative is the retelling of a story of events that have lead them to where they are now. While a story is just a sequence of events, a narrative recounts those events, whilst emphasising some aspects of the account and leaving out others is they are irrelevant or unimportant.
Visit: for more information on what a narrative is.

2. Why is patient / client narratives important
Patient /client narratives are important because it introduces the patient’s perspective into our understanding illness. It allows us to adopt a more patient / client approach to the delivery of health care. Conversely it helps us in the recognition that other individuals have perspectives and values which differ from our own. Example: A family’s story of their thoughts, feelings and fears bound up in their 10 year old daughter having type 1 diabetes may elicit an understanding that it is not just about the condition. It is how it represents an entire way of living in which their lives are consumed by choices, risks and restrictions that diabetes has imposed upon the family.
To find out why narrative are important to nursing care

3. How to write a narrative

The basis for this assignment begins with the selection of a patient, carer, client or parent who is willing to tell you their story.
You will need to seek consent and show in the assignment that the person’s / child’s anonymity has been respected.
It might be daunting task to ask a specific person or family to tell you their story but discuss this with your mentor on placement who may be able to advise the best patient / child / client/ family to approach.
This web site will give you ideas on how you might elicit a patient/ client / parent / child’s narrative.

4. Interpretation of the narrative.
How you interpret the narrative will be the subject area explored in the Social Sciences for Nursing module however preparatory reading is given below.
Visit: On how to interpret a patient narrative.
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