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Health Educator Course Content

From Bird's Eye View Book

Module 2: The Nuts and Bolts
of Patient Centred Care
Lesson Plan 3:  The Bedrock of Health Care

Learning Outcome


Students will be able to describe the four elements of patient centred care.  They will reflect on the importance of one of the elements by sharing a story from their own lives.​

concept 2.jpg
  1. Read the introductory essay by Sue Robins called Patient-Centred Care: when words become meaningless

  2. Read short stories (below) from Bird’s Eye View book that are examples of each element of patient centred care in a health setting.

  3. Randomly choose one of the elements. Do that by cutting and pasting the words into a free online randomizer, like this one:
    Information Sharing

  4. See what element you come up with!

  5. Using your randomly picked element:
    a. Spend half an hour writing a short story about a time you did not experience that element (e.g. you felt disrespected, you were not treated with dignity, you didn’t have information shared in a way you could understand, you were not part of a true collaboration).  Write a story that you are ok sharing with others.
    b. This does not have to be a patient story!  Choose your story from any part of your life: as a student, as part of your family, in a job, sports team, etc.

  6. In a break-out group setting:
    a. Read your story out loud.
    b. Explain how the experience shared in your story made you feel.
    c. Answer the question – what could have been different for this story to have a happy ending?

Stories about Patient Centred Care



“Does he need surgery?” I ventured.  “No,” she said dismissively, waving her hand.  I’ll never forget what happened next.


(The cardiologist) turned her back to us and started dictating her clinic notes into a dictation machine…my husband and I glanced at each other.  Was this our good-bye? ….we gathered up Aaron and our things and crept out the door.


Page 75, Bird's Eye View



There was a sign that said:


We no longer routinely change patients into gowns unless they are having additional exams. We hope this improves our efficiency and reduces our environmental impact.


…I had to strip from the waist up in front of the technologist and stand there, unnecessarily exposed, cold and topless.


Page 168-169, Bird's Eye View


Information Sharing

(My daughter Ella) sat down with my husband (Mike) and me the night before my surgery to review all the materials they had given me to prep. Ella read through all the pamphlets, sharing only the essential information that I needed to know for my partial mastectomy the next day…Mike and I could not bear to look at the mountains of information that had been given to me up to that point.

Page 128, Bird's Eye View

info sharing.jpg


…what mattered to me is that we had an actual conversation about the four questions I had written in my notebook.  Ours was a true back and forth exchange. I asked my questions and (the resident) did not interrupt me when I was talking. He shared information and options. He hesitated before he shared a thoughtful response. 


Page 231, Bird's Eye View


Supplemental Reading

1. Institute of Patient and Family Centered Care's core concepts of patient and family centered care.

2.  An article by Don Berwick in the Health Affairs Journal What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean: Confessions Of An Extremist

3. Love, A Word That Medicine Fears by Dr. Kristen Meisinger. A beautifully-written essay that offers much food for thought.

Bird’s Eye View: Stories of a life lived in health care by Sue Robins
ISBN: 978-1999156015

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

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