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UTHSC nursing students write drama about family dysfunction and its effects on children (5-01-01)

Every generation learns from the last – a reality that is sometimes very unfortunate. A present-day father may be unable or unwilling to recognize that the cycle of domestic violence and chemical dependency started in his own childhood. He may have watched as his own father went drinking, returned home and took out anger on family members. Now this son acts out the same dreadful scenario with his own loved ones.

Undergraduate students in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) have written a short dramatic skit, “Where Children Play,” as part of their course work. The public is invited to view the drama at noon Friday, May 4, in the auditorium of the School of Nursing, located on the UTHSC campus at 7703 Floyd Curl Drive in the South Texas Medical Center. Undergraduate student Melissa Hatfield is the director.

“We portray how the cycle of domestic violence and chemical dependency affects every aspect of one’s life as well as the lives of family members,” said course instructor Norma Martinez Rogers, Ph.D., R.N., a psychiatric mental health nurse and clinical assistant professor in the department of family nursing care at the Health Science Center. “The father saw it as a child and swore he was not going to be like that, but now he is violent and alcoholic. One of the things we want to show is that chemical dependence is a family disease.”

Eleven students perform various roles, including a pregnant mother, a defiant adolescent, an asthmatic child and an alcoholic father. “This is what students are going to see in the community – chemical dependence, mothers with difficult pregnancies, asthma in children, domestic violence, you name it,” Dr. Rogers said. “The uniqueness of this experience is that these students are learning to utilize community-based resources to provide holistic nursing care.”

Contact: Will Sansom