The Dream Team

Nursing students

Nursing students (Photo credit: jdlasica)

pleasureinlearning is pleased to welcome Tommie W. Pniewski, RN, MSN, CNAA, BC and Professor of Allied Health as guest author.  Tommie is a favorite of students and colleagues alike, loved for her wit and warmth, and respected for her unflinching devotion to telling it like it is.

Known for nervous breakdowns and stress, nursing school is a challenge on both sides of the fence! My belief is that you can learn while being entertained. …………How can that be? Well, MY theory is that when the endorphins (our internal opiates) are being secreted (while we laugh, or during other pleasurable events such as exercise, or eating), we can pack knowledge into our brains.

Cover of "The Dream Team"

Cover of The Dream Team

In teaching behavioral health, I have found that movies can make a symptom become an image in the mind of today’s learner, depicting a mental illness with life, emotion and character. One of my favorite movies is The Dream Team, a 1989 film. The stars in the film are Michael Keaton as a patient with a personality disorder, Christopher Lloyd as a fellow with obsessive compulsive tendencies, Peter Boyle as a former advertising executive who believes he is Jesus Christ, and Stephen Furst whose behavior  is nearly catatonic.Throughout the film, as students live the experience of these men who have gone on a field trip with their therapist,  they can visualize signs and symptoms of an array of mental illnesses.


Popcorn! (Photo credit: veggiefrog)

After viewing the film, a class discussion has proven to be fruitful in connecting the dots for the students in how we, as nurses, are pivotal in the recovery of those persons experiencing mental illness. I have particularly enjoyed watching my students relax, laugh, get teary and revel in the hysterical situations that these characters work through with their own creative and effective resources…… And sometimes we even have popcorn!

Here’s the trailer from The Dream Team:

Do you have a favorite video that you use to provide a pleasurable way to get your point across?  We’d love to hear about it.  Please comment.


One comment on “The Dream Team

  1. Brian says:

    Love it! B

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