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3.9

Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: OK. Thanks very much, Fiona, for agreeing to come and chat to me today about a time in hospital that you had with your husband.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds FIONA: Yes.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: I think I explained to you before that we were going to use, what this is called, emotional touch points. But really what it is is just thinking about different points in your experience when you were visiting your husband in hospital and thinking about perhaps one you might like to talk about today. And we’ll just– I’d like to hear your story and we’ll– I’ll take you through that using emotional words. So we don’t worry about the process too much. The most important thing is just to hear about your experience.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 seconds FIONA: That’s absolutely fine.

Skip to 0 minutes and 37 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: I’ve kind of– I know we talked before about you visiting your husband in hospital and you talked about particular things. So I’ve made up some cards with some key type points in that experience for you. So talking to staff would be one of them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds FIONA: Yes.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Visiting my husband.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds FIONA: Yes.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Being involved.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds FIONA: Yep.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Being with other relatives. I know he was on an open ward–

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second FIONA: Yes, he was.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second BELINDA DEWAR: –and therefore there was other relatives there. And there could be more and we’ve got some blank paper if there was something else that you wanted to talk about. I know from our discussion, some of these are relevant to you.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds FIONA: Yeah. They are.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: We’ll probably only get through one of these today, but we can chat again if need be.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 seconds FIONA: All right.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Out of these, which one would you like to talk about today?

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds FIONA: The one that most resonated was actually the first one, talking with staff.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: OK. Talking with staff. So with talking to staff, thinking about that experience when you were in visiting Dougie, can you think of what that felt like? And here there are positive emotional words and more negative emotional words. So just thinking back to that time and what did it feel like when you were talking to staff.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds FIONA: OK. So I’m thinking about one particular conversation that I had with a staff nurse. And I think the first word I would pick is surprised.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: OK.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds FIONA: Here.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: OK. So we’ll just put that on there.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 seconds FIONA: I think another word that would describe how I felt was anxious.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds And also powerless.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Just wondering, as well, where there any– there’s more positive words here– where there any positive emotions you felt in talking to staff that you’d like to pick?

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds FIONA: Heard. Just there. Yep. Included. And probably relieved as well.

Skip to 2 minutes and 27 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: OK. I do have some blanks here as well for you in case there’s other words that we don’t have here. Can we just go back to the more negative words that you’ve picked? So I think the first word you picked was surprised, Fiona. Can you tell me a bit about why you felt surprised?

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 seconds FIONA: Yep. My husband had gone into hospital on a Friday. I’d been finding it very difficult to look after him at home. He was falling a lot and so I was really pleased to get him into hospital. I felt he was safe there. But on the Saturday when I was in visiting and it was very busy– there were lots of other visitors there that day– the staff nurse came in and said to Dougie, but obviously I was there, now, Dougie, we’ve got to start talking about getting you home. And I was totally taken aback because I just got him into hospital and I didn’t feel able to even think about what getting him home would look like at that moment.

Skip to 3 minutes and 27 seconds And so I was really surprised and, as I say, very taken aback by what she’d come in to have a discussion with us about. So that was hard.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: And were you able to share with stuff at that point your surprise?

Skip to 3 minutes and 41 seconds FIONA: I remember saying, he can’t come home just now. I mean, I can remember sort of blurting something out like that and Dougie getting annoyed with me because he wanted to come home. He didn’t wanted to be in hospital. And so that was very difficult actually at that point.

Skip to 3 minutes and 58 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: You picked the word powerless as well, Fiona. So what was it about talking to staff that made you feel powerless?

Skip to 4 minutes and 5 seconds FIONA: They’d sprung it on us and I didn’t feel able to say to her, at that point, you haven’t really included me, we’ve not even talked anything about this, he’s really just– and he’s not even had any tests or anything done yet. And yet, it was like they decided. It was like they decided he was going home and they’d work something out in order to facilitate that. But they weren’t really asking me what it felt like for me to even think about him coming home at that point. And I just felt very inadequate. Particularly because Dougie was so keen to engage in that conversation with her about coming home and I was so negative about it. Really negative about it.

Skip to 4 minutes and 43 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: You used the word included. And I’m wondering if there were– how would you have like to have felt in that situation?

Skip to 4 minutes and 49 seconds FIONA: Well, I mean, eventually I did feel included. But it would have been lovely if, first of all, it hadn’t happened– that conversation hadn’t happened– in the middle of the ward, in the middle of visiting time. I might have felt more empowered to actually say what I was feeling and trying to explain to Dougie in that moment why I was feeling like that. That would have helped me be included. Or even for her to have taken me aside to say, we’re about to have this conversation and how are you feeling about that? You know, before we actually had the conversation with Dougie. So little things actually would have made a big difference.

Skip to 5 minutes and 22 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Made a difference.

Skip to 5 minutes and 22 seconds FIONA: Yeah. They would have.

Skip to 5 minutes and 23 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Any you’d have felt part of that decision–

Skip to 5 minutes and 25 seconds FIONA: I would have. Yep.

Skip to 5 minutes and 26 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: You also picked the word anxious.

Skip to 5 minutes and 28 seconds FIONA: And it’s related to my feeling of powerlessness and surprise. Thinking, oh, my God, if they absolutely– or discharge him next week, how am I going to manage? I was the breadwinner and how was I going to go to work? And I didn’t know at that point that they were thinking about care packages and people to come in and help and support me. And so I just thought, I’m never going to manage this. And so it was just an incredibly anxious time where I’m trying to think of a thousand things at once in my head and really not managing the whole conversation very well at all, consequently.

Skip to 6 minutes and 0 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: And when you went home that day from the hospital–

Skip to 6 minutes and 4 seconds FIONA: Oh, I cried.

Skip to 6 minutes and 4 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Yeah.

Skip to 6 minutes and 5 seconds FIONA: I cried because I just didn’t know how I was going to really manage. And although she was saying, don’t worry, we’ll help you. I didn’t know how they were going to help me, I didn’t know what was going to happen. And so I felt very, very unsafe and just out of control really.

Skip to 6 minutes and 20 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: For me thinking it would be really helpful to feed some of that stuff back to staff because they might be– they might not all be aware of how you were actually feeling–

Skip to 6 minutes and 32 seconds FIONA: No. Not at all.

Skip to 6 minutes and 34 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: –and the impact that that had. You have picked some positive words there as well.

Skip to 6 minutes and 38 seconds FIONA: Yes. Absolutely.

Skip to 6 minutes and 39 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: There’s perhaps another part to this story.

Skip to 6 minutes and 41 seconds FIONA: There is.

Skip to 6 minutes and 42 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: And so you’ve picked the words relieved, heard, and included.

Skip to 6 minutes and 46 seconds FIONA: Yep.

Skip to 6 minutes and 47 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Which one of these would you like to start with?

Skip to 6 minutes and 48 seconds FIONA: Probably heard.

Skip to 6 minutes and 50 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: So tell me a bit about why you felt heard.

Skip to 6 minutes and 52 seconds FIONA: Well, what I did after that day on Monday, I phoned the ward and asked if we could have a further meeting about this because I did feel so anxious about it. And so the sister and the staff nurse facilitated a meeting with me and Dougie where I was able to explain how I felt. And they absolutely understood my feelings and were able to explain to me that the staff nurse knew that on the Monday morning the ward has a ward round and the consultant always asks on a Monday morning, and what’s the discharge date and who’s facilitated that conversation?

Skip to 7 minutes and 34 seconds And so, in her desire to do well at the ward round, she’d introduced it on Saturday so that she knew she was going to be on Monday morning. And so I understood a little bit about the context and why she’d introduced it so early in the process. But I really did feel heard and heard by them and also heard by Dougie, actually, who understood my perspective.

Skip to 7 minutes and 58 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: So just facilitating that meeting and having your voice really helped.

Skip to 8 minutes and 1 second FIONA: It did.

Skip to 8 minutes and 2 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: And I’m really hearing you having an understanding of that staff nurse’s perspective as well.

Skip to 8 minutes and 8 seconds FIONA: Absolutely. I did.

Skip to 8 minutes and 10 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: With her competing priorities.

Skip to 8 minutes and 11 seconds FIONA: Yeah. Definitely.

Skip to 8 minutes and 13 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: And other words you picked, I think, again, which are related. You’ve picked included which is same as if you were.

Skip to 8 minutes and 18 seconds FIONA: Definitely. I mean, they didn’t say, oh, no, we can’t do that. The minute I said, look, I’m feeling a little bit anxious about this and I wonder if we can have a meeting. No problem. It was very prompt and very quick. And they were very keen to facilitate any learning from both sides that we could manage. And I think that’s why I picked the word relieved because actually they were able to explain to me what the process would look like and they were going to keep him in hospital for tests and things and nothing was going to happen immediately. And so I felt much calmer about the whole process after that and understood what was going to happen.

Skip to 8 minutes and 55 seconds But as I say, just on that Saturday, ahh, God.

Skip to 8 minutes and 58 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: No. And it took your courage to ask for a meeting–

Skip to 9 minutes and 2 seconds FIONA: Sure.

Skip to 9 minutes and 3 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: –that maybe not everybody would do.

Skip to 9 minutes and 4 seconds FIONA: No.

Skip to 9 minutes and 4 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: So I’m sure there will be learning in this for everybody.

Skip to 9 minutes and 7 seconds FIONA: Yes. Absolutely. If they just even said, how’s that landing with you or what are you feeling about what I’m saying here? Just a couple of the questions, it might have helped me to kind of be a little bit more in control and have a little bit of power in that meeting. But in the end, it worked absolutely fine.

Skip to 9 minutes and 24 seconds BELINDA DEWAR: Thanks very much for sharing that.

Skip to 9 minutes and 26 seconds FIONA: You’re welcome.

Emotional touchpoints

This video features your week lead, Belinda Dewar, demonstrating the emotional touchpoints technique, which is used to learn about people’s experiences.

While watching this video, you might like to make some notes on how you feel about the process, what strikes you, which of the 7Cs you recognize and how you might use this tool in your own conversations. These notes will help you contribute to the discussion in the next step.

The emotional touchpoints method helps us to learn about an individual’s experience in a structured way that specifically focuses on emotions. A touchpoint is a neutral point in an individual’s experience. For example:

  • being admitted to hospital
  • visiting my relative, or
  • my learning on this course

Participants are asked to describe how that experience felt by selecting from a range of emotional words.

If you would like to try out this technique in your own practice, you can download Belinda’s word cards below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Compassionate Care: Getting it Right

University of Dundee

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