The Collins English Dictionary, 12th edn. London: Harper Collins; 2014

To act or not to act – that is the question

02 October 2019
Volume 27 · Issue 10


Gaining confidence as a midwife can be found in many ways. Hannah Horne talks about her experience

The English dictionary defines acting as the ‘activity or profession of performing in plays or films’ (Collins English Dictionary, 2014) so I was surprised when a mandatory course offered as part of my Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholarship programme was a bespoke leadership course run by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Instantly my thoughts were negative. I hate role play, it doesn't come naturally to me. I was also nervous about play acting in front of other senior professionals that I don't know. I stepped over the threshold into the RADA studios with trepidation in my heart. I looked around to all the other senior staff in my group, which included chief nurses and senior heads of service, and I could see their anxieties oozing from their faces. I was comforted by the thought that we all felt the same.

The three-day course was led by an amazing actor and playwright, who I recognised from the small screen. As he gently led us through the leadership theories and concepts whilst cleverly intertwining drama anecdotes, we all began to relax and really enjoy the experience. It soon became evident that throughout my professional career I was, in fact, a skilled actor – both as a midwife and midwifery manager.

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