Type of Activity: Processing
Props Needed: Prescription Postcards & writing utensil for each participant
Concept: The prescription is one of the most important therapeutic transactions between physician and patient. The art of prescription writing is an ancient inheritance. Its origin is lost in antiquity, but its importance through the centuries has made it one of the most significant written communications of the human race. The ancients began each prescription with an appeal to the gods for its success. The ancient symbol, Rx, signifying the appeal, was established centuries ago and has been carried down to the present time.
Many ancient prescriptions were noted for their multiple ingredients and complexity of preparation. Just like teams, the importance of the prescription and the need for complete understanding and accuracy make it imperative that a universal and standard language be employed. Teams are made of complex people and no two prescriptions will be alike.
To avoid undesirable and/or serious effects on the patient, both physician and pharmacist must render the highest of professional services. Accurate diagnosis; proper selection of medication, dosage form and route of administration; proper size and timing of dose; precise dispensing; accurate labeling; and correct packaging all must be provided.
To avoid undesirable and/or serious effects on the team, both facilitator and team leader must also render the highest of professional services. Providing a format where participants can have healthy discussions about what is ailing the team, preventative measures and possible cures can lead to healthy action plans and goal setting.
Process: Provide one Prescription Postcard for each participant. Invite them to think about a few “unhealthy” symptoms their team might be experiencing and list them on their cards. After a few minutes, write several of the symptoms on flip chart paper. Group the similar symptoms together. Have the team brainstorm healthy action plans for each symptom and write those prescriptions on the front of their postcard.
Variation: After each individual has listed their symptoms, have them pass the cards in to the facilitator. Shuffle the cards and hand random cards to the participants. Ask them to write a prescription for the ailments or symptoms listed on the card they received. Ask each individual to stand and share one symptom and the healthy action plan they would prescribe for that symptom.
What Can it Teach?
- Use of Data: Connecting value of the time spent in training to the real world environment is critical in all training. Creating useful, measurable performance goals can be a powerful component of team development.
- Innovation: Allowing teams to get creative with fixing a communication problem or other ailment sparks creativity and buy-in power.
- Team Collaboration: Having teams come to consensus on Healthy Action Plans creates shared accountability.
- Structural Thinking: Teams design their Action Plans for optimal performance in the real world.
For more resources see: Rx Debrief
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