Current events-med improv update!

This experiential learning method for developing emotional intelligence and interpersonal medical improvskills is gaining traction.  More email inquiries,  networking calls, articles, and slow but sure progress on “Improvoscopy:  Serious Play for Safe Care” Indiegogo campaign.   In case you are interested, there are FB pages for Medical Improv, Seacoast Med Improv, and Applied Improvisation Network.

Here’s the news from my front porch!

Upcoming workshops

2/16/2016:   A Full Day of Med Improv with and Judy Ringer of Power and Presence will co-facilitate!

5/1/2016:    26th Annual New England Regional Health Risk Management Conference presentation – Medical Improv to Improve Healthcare Communication & Collaboration.

5/3/2016:  University of New Hampshire Professional Development & Training full day seminar –  Medical Improv:   Learn How to Deliver the Optimal Patient Experience!

Recent (and Relevant) Guest Blogposts on Medline

Emotional Intelligence & Interpersonal Skills are Underlying Key Issues

Optimizing Outcomes & Approaching Change Differently This Year Through Medical Improv

“Improvoscopy:  Serious Play for Safe Care”  Indiegogo Campaign Update
Improvoscopy Logo draft with words G9Hoping to launch by Mid February and have been pretty focused on developing “Pitch Video” which is ALMOST ready!  Getting the message out about this exciting online library that healthcare professionals can use to teach fundamental med improv activities to ALL staff in ALL organizations is something I feel very passionate about.  If I can get funding for the process, the resources will be free!  This will help to decrease errors, work-related injuries, and bullying or other disruptive behaviors and cultures.  So yeah, it is a big deal!   And I’m told the first 12-30 seconds of your “Pitch Video” has to really grab viewers!  I started out with 5 min and it is now down to about 2!  I hope you will stay tuned and help me with this.

Posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Holistic Health, Listening, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety, Teambuilding | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review – “Still Alice”: Alzheimer’s Disease on Film

by Spencer Matthew

As with most other chronic and progressive diseases, Alzheimer’s disease affects not only the person afflicted with it but also friends and family members. Because Alzheimer’s is neurological in nature, causing deterioration in the brain, the memory loss and eventual loss of motor functions mean that the afflicted person will need at least one caregiver – a role that often falls to family members and friends in the early stages. In the film, Still Alice, Julianne Moore portrays the title character who becomes diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s shortly after her 50th birthday.

By most accounts, Moore’s portrayal of successful linguistics professor Alice Howland was spot-on for showing the frustrations and loss of dignity that accompany this devastating disease as it progresses. The film explores not only the reactions of family members to the changes in Alice as they occur, but it also makes a point of portraying the ongoing damage from Alice’s point of view. Supporting cast includes actor Alec Baldwin as Alice’s husband John, Kate Bosworth as daughter Anna, and Kristen Stewart as daughter Lydia.

While Hollywood hasn’t always gotten the details right when portraying dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, there seems to be a shift in the past decade or so in the creative minds behind such films. The end result is a greater attempt at accurately portraying the symptoms and outcomes of these diseases. This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed in healthcare circles, with Still Alice receiving commendations from the likes of the Alzheimer’s Association for its accuracy and realism.

Still Alice sets itself apart from other films about Alzheimer’s, such as The Notebook and Away from Her, in that it focuses on the early stage of the disease, as well as the unique way of seeing the disease through the patient’s eyes rather than only through the reactions of others. While these other films also offer a fairly accurate portrayal of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, they show the advanced stages rather than the early onset, and they show the supporting characters as having already come to terms with the disease’s devastation, for the most part. Still Alice instead shows us the mixed reactions of family members and loved ones when they first learn of the diagnosis.

In Alice’s case, husband John seems the hardest hit of the family members. While he still loves his wife, his love and devotion seems to make it harder for him to cope with the changes and loss of brain function that she endures. Rather than bear witness to these changes on a daily basis, he chooses to accept a job offer in a different state, citing financial need and uncertainly as the disease progresses. Likewise, daughter Anna seems to have trouble accepting the diagnosis, particularly as it is found to be genetic and she carries the gene which, in turn, creates a risk of her passing it on to her unborn children.

MV5BMzQ1MjI3Mzc5OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTAyNjQ2MzE@._V1_UY105_CR26,0,105,105_AL_Ironically, the child that Alice is most disappointed in is also the one who steps up when extra care is needed. This would be youngest daughter Lydia, who chose to shun college in favor of pursuing an acting career. Alice holds out hope that Lydia will go to college eventually, even while Lydia moves back home to care for her mother when her father moves away for his new job.

Ultimately, Still Alice provides an accurate portrayal of the ugly side of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition with no known cure yet. As with so many devastating diseases, funding for research and treatment of this disease is not yet where it needs to be. However, movies like Still Alice, which can found on DirecTV and Google Play, can perhaps shed much needed light on this need and maybe even lead to an eventual cure.

Spencer Matthew is a freelance writer with a special interest in the growing importance of technology in the medical industry. He lives and works in Chicago where he lives vicariously through the variety of articles he writes.

Posted in Book & Movie Reviews, Complexity in nursing, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Considering a nursing career? But, which path?

You’ve decided you want a career in nursing, but now what? Ready. Aim. Hire has created at infographic to help you decide which nursing path is right is right for you based on certifications, education needed, salary, duties and projected employment. Learn which option suits you best, and which you may want to make a career goal.         

(Click on the Infographic to expand!

                      Nursing Careers Infographic-01

Bio: Read. Aim. Hire. is your go-to education and career resource blog ( Our team is dedicated to helping you whether you are just thinking about college or are taking the next steps in your career. Look for us on Twitter (@AimHireCC), Facebook ( and YouTube (Ready. Aim. Hire.)!

Posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment