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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

But I Was Only ACTING! USF Thespians Portray the Afflicted For Benefit of USF Nursing Students.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge You, a 78-year-old man with dementia? Genius!
  • You, a 78-year-old man with dementia? Genius!

In a masterstroke of symbiosis, the University of San Francisco has assigned its drama students to portray the sick and dying for the benefit of the school's nursing students.

It's hard to think of a more mutually beneficial setup: The nurses-to-be get the advantage of learning, early-on, how to deal with drama queens, while the actors-to-be get the heads-up on likely future necessities such as convincing a medical professional that you need hard drugs and dealing with an audience that wants nothing more than to stick needles in you to make you shut up.

"I think this is a perfect embodiment of why you go to a four-year liberal arts Jesuit university to become a nurse," said Susan Prion, an assistant professor of nursing. This is an interesting statement, as how USF's Jesuit affiliation bears upon a young drama student portraying, say, an Alzheimer's- or Cancer-afflicted senior is unclear. It is a pretty good bet, however, that no improv scenarios involving unwed mothers-to-be were pulled off -- and, if such a thing happened in real life, it warrants mentioning that USF has taken pains to drop any coverage of abortion from its health plan. 

On the other hand, there may be yet another motive behind this exercise beyond mere altruism on the actors' parts: "The overall experience was fun, exciting, and made me realize that I am capable of fully engaging as a character in a hospital scene with extreme medical conditions," said drama student Rochelle Lozano.

That explains more. Look out Hollywood -- USF drama students are ready for their guest shot on House

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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