Cracks, Edinburgh Napier University
What is Cracks?
Cracks is a play written and directed by Trisha Jeram, a Masters student of Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University. It was performed by nursing students, lecturers and associates at the Summerhall in Edinburgh in June 2019 through a novel combination of live action and recorded footage. Trisha was introduced to the world of creative writing through an NHS Lothian Creative writing Project led by Tracy Burney in 2016. In 2017 she participated in Mad, Bad, Invisible, a play that became embedded into nursing curriculum at Edinburgh Napier University. In 2018 she wrote and performed her own part in a play titled Where it Hurts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Cracks was endorsed by the university staff and funded by Edinburgh Napier University’s Public Engagement fund and Teaching Fellow fund.
Cracks tells the story of Bob and Debbie whose lives gradually interweave to show stark differences in health outcomes due to inequitable access to health and social care.It was written to bridge the gap in learning left by an earlier performance titled Mad, Bad, Invisible. Both plays use the stories of real-life patients experiencing disjointed care to help nursing students develop empathy and compassionate care. Trisha is keen to use her creativity to enhance student learning in higher education. The aim of the project is to make learning more enjoyable, stimulating and relevant to nurse education.
Research is underway to assess the impact of Cracks on student learning and performance. Early indication from verbal feedback suggests that Cracks generated a huge debate among students about the importance of health and social care integration in optimum care delivery. At a mixed media event held in June 2019 to perform Cracks, the audience loved the performance and said they believed the play was very relevant to modern care delivery. Following requests from other universities, Cracks will be taken ‘on the road’ during 2020. This tour will showcase this innovative, student-led, approach to teaching and learning to support nursing students across the UK as they grapple with the complex reality of health and social care integration.