Hearing Voices Training Proves Eye-opening For Nursing Students

Danielle Moffett, Forward New Mexico AHEC director; Nichelle Gilbert, Program Manager, UNM School of Medicine BA/MD Program; Ann Kraft, BHECN; Dr. Howard Liu, BHECN; Dr. Helene Silverblatt, Center for Rural and Community Behavioral Health, outside of the center’s offices in Albuquerque, NM.

Understanding what a patient who hears voices is faced with can help ease communication during care. In November, 60 UNK nursing students participated in the Hearing Distressing Voices training, where they listened to audio through headphones that simulated what someone who hears voices may experience. While listening, the students were put through tasks that would normally happen in a nursing situation, such as a completing an assessment, filling out paperwork, and interacting with others.

“It was an eye-opening experience for many of them who had never been exposed to this type of illness,” said BHECN Kearney Director, Dr. Christine "Tina" Chasek, who presented the training along with Sara Klingelhoefer, BHECN graduate assistant. “Many of the students indicated that they could better understand and empathize with those patients who may appear ‘odd’, and they learned not to take the patient’s behaviors personally, as it was not a reflection on them as the nurse but rather a result of the patient’s inner world.”

Learn more about this type of training here.