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Sun, Mar 05


Virtual: Zoom

Heal Thyself: Generative Writing Salon for Healthcare Professionals

No writing experience necessary. There will be space to share writing but this is not required for attendance. This workshop explores ways in which writing can allow healthcare professionals (nurses, aides, physicians, social workers and more) to find stories and meaning inside their experiences.

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Heal Thyself: Generative Writing Salon for Healthcare Professionals
Heal Thyself: Generative Writing Salon for Healthcare Professionals

Time & Location

Mar 05, 2023, 10:30 AM AKST – Mar 06, 2023, 12:00 PM AKST

Virtual: Zoom

About the event

Are you a nurse? Do you work in the healthcare profession in any capacity? Perhaps you are a nursing aide, a social worker or physician. 

Perhaps you log ten miles a day drawing labs. Maybe you've never forgotten the patient who hugged you and held on at the end of that one especially long shift. You saw ten patients a day at the start of the career. Now you see forty. Every single one of them impacts you, but it's hard to sort out how. It feels like a blur. Or, you're incredibly tired of pizza party thank yous and want to take some time to write about that reality in your life, the way you used to like pizza, the way you think nurses deserve sushi lately. You've been a nurse for six months and it's more than you'd hoped and harder than you feared. Or perhaps you retired two years ago and you are watching your profession change before your eyes. There is so much to sort. You find yourself wishing there was a way to talk to people about what it means to be you the nurse, you the physician, you the secretary. 

If you work in healthcare you have stories inside you. They are stacked tight like your ribs and after the last few years of pandemic challenges you must feel a bit like these stories are bursting inside you. I know I do! That's why I am offering this generative writing salon for healthcare professionals. Hi, my name is Ruth Underhill and I have been a registered nurse for almost eighteen years. I was a licensed practical nurse for a brief year during nursing school. I've worked in nine states and over twenty medical facilities. I hold a Masters in creative nonfiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently work as a contract nurse in Alaska when I am not planning writing events or teaching childbirth education. Writing has been my sanity in a profession that can be exhilarating, hilarious, excruciating, traumatizing and also boring all in the space of a few hours. I understand how intense patient care demands can be on every level and how tedious the charting and beeping monitors side of our jobs can also be at the same time. We exist in a world of extremes and often leave our workdays absolutely spent. How does a human handle all of these highs, lows, and demands? I believe writing is one of the most healing and rewarding ways to examine our professional lives and find ways to articulate both the beauty and the tough realities.

Noone needs to see what you write. Ever. Unless you want them to see it. Maybe. One day. The purpsoe of these workshops is to write for the joy of writing and discover where your voice may lead. Perhaps you'll find out a little more about who you are, or who the population is that you work with. Perhaps you'll understand pains you carry and learn to, yes, heal yourself in some mysterious way which healing and speaking your truth can do.  Maybe you have a great sense of humor and want to remember how humans have made you wheeze with laughter. Writing is a versatile elixir for the soul. 

These writing salons provide a space for healthcare professionals to meet and explore the layers of our experiences through writing. Each salon will include writing prompts fit to healthcare professionals. We will use writing the way we use our professional tools. We will sit with experiences and offer therapeutic communciation to ourselves through our writing. You can attend if the sum total of your writing experience is in years of charting progress notes. You can attend if you have been writing and publishing for years. The benefits of gathering with other healthcare professionals and making space for beauty in our hectic healthcare lives is valuable for everyone. 

During our writing salons we may write in any genre. Have you always thought your unit would make a great reality show? Write the pitch letter! Do you find yourself remembering each staff member who left due to stressors of short staffing and the pandemic? Well, take this time to write short vignette snap shots of what it was like to work with each of these people. Or, do what so many of us need to do, sit with the tough parts of your shifts, your work days, and write about that until you find some meaning, some thread of a story you want to tell. 

There is incredible healing power in writing your story. Take off the uniform and letting yourself find a melody in the work you do, or perhaps a battle cry. 

Every single healthcare worker is a writer. We write notes every day, but we do this for our professional system. What would happen if you write a note for the sake of telling your story, hearing your own heatbeat and affirming the role you play in your community toward healing?

Feel free to attend one salon or all of them. You can purchase tickets seperately.  I look forward to writing with you soon!

-Ruth Underhill 


  • Heal Thyself Writing Salon

    Get comfy on your couch with a writing pad or at your desk, in a your car with a fresh coffee shack latte in hand, whatever your favorite writing situation may be!

    +$0.75 service fee
    Sale ended



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