Health care providers globally continue to face various challenges that necessitate a clear understanding of what practices and health trends exist. However, not much is understood as to the most appropriate training globally on matters health (Charon, 2015). As a result, it becomes necessary for there to be an inclusion or study of global health with the aid of literary work. Literally work in the health profession brings about the aspect of narrative medicine which is ideally the use of both medicine and literature together (Marini, 2015). Literally training based on narrative medicine has been seen to support and strengthen the instincts of doctors. Cultivating empathy in healthcare providers is a critical aspect of medical education and narratives have, since its inception, been viewed to foster empathy. As such, narratives have, through time, been and will continue to be an integral component of medicine. This is because the patient’s stories and illness recovery is shared among patients and their families as well as their families and physicians.
Narratives in medicine have numerous advantages to both the caregivers and the patients. Firstly, a patient’s issue is seen from the patient’s perspective and suffering. This is important because it gives the health provider an opportunity to understand the best way of addressing the patient’s problem while considering all the factors involved (Marini, 2015). Secondly, there is obviously a better and clearer understanding of a patient’s story which enables efficiency on the part of the health provider and further increasing the patient’s satisfaction. Thirdly, the approach of narratives gives health providers the chance to identify any possible barriers that they present to patients and which may impede health care service delivery. In contrast, however, to the mentioned benefits, narratives have the potential to perpetuate inaccuracies or misinformation on science equally. Further, narratives, as opposed to communication that is logically scientific, are never subjected to the standard requirements such as the same truth, thus causing a difficulty in countering them. Regarding ethics, the use of narratives that are socially controversial often leads to unusual ethical considerations that put healthcare providers in tough positions (Charon, 2015). One common ethical question that arises is whether the aim of relying on narratives is to achieve comprehension or persuasion. For instance, patient narratives not only lack structure but are disorganized in terms of presentation and have no continuity. Equally, the perspectives and perceptions of a patient often get in the way and can make it difficult for a health provider to make decisions.
Even so, the benefits that come with narrative medicine which is an element of literary work in healthcare outweigh its detriments. The reliance of narrative medicine is a positive step towards addressing the existing gaps in health care particularly in improving health care provision (Charon, 2015). If applied effectively, narrative medicine can potentially complement the management of very complex cases of in patients (Marini, 2015). The reliance on only technology and scientific evidence to handle a patient are bound to occasion a risk of the patient’s story on their illness being replaced by the doctor’s version of the illness. The best approach would be to strike a balance between narrative based medicine and evidence-based medicine. This is necessary because the provision of relevant and better health care ought to be the health provider’s top priority.
- Charon, R. I. T. A. (2015). Narrative Medicine: The Essential Role of Stories in Medical Education and Communication. Creative Dialogues: Narrative and Medicine, 95-111.
- Marini, M. G. (2015). Narrative medicine: bridging the gap between evidence-based care and medical humanities. Springer.