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Health Educator Course Content

From Bird's Eye View Book

Module 1: Compassion
Lesson Plan 2: Bird’s Eye
View Book Discussion Guide

Learning Outcome

By the end of this session, students will be able to critically reflect on a variety of patient + family experiences in health care settings and be able to identify what actions they would have been taken to ensure a patient and family centred outcome. 


1. Watch the author's welcome video:

2.  Read the Bird's Eye View book, or choose to read only the chapters referenced in the questions below.

3.  Discuss these questions in a group setting or reflect on them by answering them in written form:

Approach to Practice

1. After reading Bird's Eye View, what are changes you will make to your practice as an APRN based on Sue's experience?


2. Robins mentions an unsettling encounter with a cardiologist on page 75. As a provider, if you witnessed a colleague interacting this way, how could you suggest a better approach? (Neck Deep in Health Care chapter, page 74).

Provider-Family Relationships

3. Dr. Azza Darwish made an incredible impact on Robins and her family. What are some principles that Dr. Darwish demonstrated that can be incorporated into our future practice so that we may also build positive relationships with our patients and their families? (About Dr. Darwish chapter, page 62).


4. Robins says: 

“The best sort of people are those who create space for stories. They can sit with an uncomfortable story without minimizing it, interrupting, looking for the bright side, correcting the storyteller, or running away. Encouraging patients to tell their own stories in their own way paves the road towards healing.”


How can we as providers create space for stories in our time-limited visits?

(The Patient Storyteller chapter, page 216). 


Building Family Strengths

5. In the "The Blocks to Really Listening," Robins talks about the importance of clinicians helping strengthen patients and their families so that after they leave your care, they can carry this strength throughout their life/journey. As a PNP, what are some things you can do to help the families you care for become stronger?

(The Blocks to Really Listening chapter, page 247).



6. In several of her essays, Robins talks about the language in healthcare and the power of words.  What are some strategies that can be used as a PNP to choose words and language that help convey compassion and help the patient/family feel comfortable and understood?

(various chapters, including Sharing the News, page 50, Point of Conception, page 58). 


7. Robins suggests that the term, patient centered care has become “meaningless jargon”? What are your thoughts about this assessment?

(The Bedrock of Health Care chapter, page 197).



8. Robins discusses her experience of learning about the diagnosis of Down syndrome in her child. What are your takeaways of how you will approach a diagnosis such as Down syndrome (or autism spectrum disorder, etc) with families?

(Sharing the News chapter, page 50). 


Kindness and Compassion

9. At the end of the book, Robins writes about the role of kindness and compassion in caring for patients. Yet, we all have our bad days. At work, how can we "catch" ourselves when we are failing to be kind and compassionate so we can shift toward thoughts and actions that are kind/compassionate?

(various chapters, including All the Warm Blankets, page 266).


10. One of the chapters in Bird's Eye View is titled "Be Kinder Than You Think is Necessary". What are some ways that you might uphold this principle in a busy pediatric clinic?

(Be Kinder Than You Think is Necessary chapter, page 271).




Bird’s Eye View: Stories of a life lived in health care by Sue Robins.

ISBN: 978-1999156015

Special Thank You

Permission to share this Discussion Guide kindly granted from:

Wendy S. Looman, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, Professor, School of Nursing

Chair, Child and Family Health Cooperative

University of Minnesota 

This content is protected by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

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