Teaching a community on how to deal with a health issue is essential in ensuring a healthy population. Teaching experience is one of the problems facing nursing working in a community setting. Some of the nurses find it challenging to plan and implement a teaching session on an issue facing a community. A teaching experience I encountered when presenting information on hand washing to learners at South Lakes High School in Virginia have caused an impact in my community nursing practice. In this paper, I will describe the teaching experience I have encountered to reflect my progress in the community nursing context. The discussion will focus on five areas of the experience that include a teaching plan summary, epidemiological basis for the topic, teaching experience evaluation, response of the community to the teaching, and the areas of improvement and strengths.
The teaching plan on hand washing had specific areas of focus. The plan concentrated on these areas: objectives of the teaching, teaching techniques, assessment criteria, limitation, and the solutions to barriers of successful presentation of information (Birnback, 2017). The objectives of the plan were three; first, was to teach the community on the appropriate hand washing procedure. The second objective was to engage the community in the hand washing practice actively. The plan had the goal of monitoring the community's progress on hand washing. The teaching plan also indicated the type of teaching techniques to use in the sessions of education the community on hand washing. One of the teaching methods mentioned in the plan was the use of lectures (George, 2016). The other mode of teaching was the use of group discussions, and lastly, the plan illustrated on practical demonstrations as the technique of education the community on hand washing.
The plan for use in educating the learners' on hand washing specified the mode of assessment. The first criterion was from responses from both the participants and their health caregivers (Guo et al., 2018). The other assessment criterion of the evaluation was on checking on the levels of common infections before and after the teaching from the relevant health care facility and professionals. The teaching plan also identified three limitations that might hinder the practical achievement of objectives. The highlighted limitations include wrong views on hand washing, inadequate hand washing facilities, and language barrier (Lamb, 2018). In solving these limitations, the teaching plan identified their respective solutions that include educating the community on the need for hand washing, accessibility to facilities of hand washing, and the use of basic language in the teaching.
Hand washing and its relationship with the health of people have the epidemiological rationale. The common infections like flu and cold mainly occur by failure or improper hand washing practice. Research shows that almost 80% of common infections get transmitted through contaminated hands (Smith, 2015). The exercise of hand washing reduces the probability of infections by about 55%. Contaminated hands mainly cause the transmission of foodborne diseases. Also, proper and frequent hand washing reduces the likelihood of developing respiratory infections by approximately 15% (Lamb, 2018). In schools, contaminated hands contribute to the transmission of common diseases. Most of the absenteeism cases in schools are also because of infections that arise due to contaminated hands. In the USA, the practice of routine and proper hand washing save to almost one million deaths per year. Therefore, for a healthy community, there is a need for initiating the practice of hand washing to people.
The infections caused by contaminated hands mainly happen in hospitals and learning institutions. People in schools and healthcare facilities are at high risk of having infections caused by contaminated hands (Guo et al., 2018). Caregiver and the government ought to come up with initiatives on how to reduce the cases of infections because of infected hands. Educating the community on the need for hand washing is one of the best practices to reduce infections that happen because of contaminated hands. The government and other involved stakeholders like the management of hospitals and schools ought to ensure the availability of hand washing facilities like water, sinks, and sanitizers in their organizations. Teaching the community on the importance of hand washing reduces the chances of common infections by about 55% (Smith, 2015).
The teaching experience of the entire process of hand washings had some reflections on the response of the community. First, there was the readiness of the community to learn about the importance of hand washing (Birnback, 2017). The learners had the desire for understanding the correct techniques of hand washing. The school management also showed readiness for the students to learn on the topic of hand washing because of the high incidences of foodborne infections among learners. The learning process was a success because of the use of creativity. I applied creativity to ensure that learners understand the importance of hand washing following the correct technique. I used creative methods like the use of visuals in explaining the transmission theory. The use of role play also contributed to the successful presentation on the importance of hand washing (George, 2016). The use of videos and group discussions was evident in the teaching session, and it helped in breaking the monotony of memorization.
Communication was an essential part of the teaching experience s it determined the level of learners to understand facts on hand washing. I used both the verbal and non-verbal modes of communication when delivering information to students (Lamb, 2018). Non-verbal communication occurred through the use of gestures and facial expressions to express mood and emotions when explaining the need for hand washing and how to manage and treat infections arising from contaminated hands. Verbal communication was the primary mode of passing information to learners. I used spoken words to explain facts and in directing demonstrations and group discussions. Written words were also used mainly in the part of assessment (Birnback, 2017). Learners wrote down responses to assess the teacher as well as answering questions to check on their level of understanding the topic.
The response of the community to teaching was positive. The learners were eager to learn about the importance of the need for hand washing (Smith, 2015). First, the attendance of learners for the lesson indicated that the community had a positive mind o the topic. Learners arrived in class on time having the needed materials like pens and notebooks, a situation that showed the readiness for learning. The participation of learners also demonstrated the positive response of the community on the topic. The learner participated actively in group discussions, practical demonstration, as well as following the presentations keenly (Guo et al., 2018). The school management also responded well by providing the required support like the provision of a powerpoint screen and projector, whiteboard makers, and makers.
The other part that showed the response of the community was during the evaluation. The learners were willing to fill up evaluation forms to evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher and the whole session of teaching (George, 2016). The school management also willingly gave comments on the teacher and the teaching process. The information provided by the community is useful in enhancing future teaching sessions. The learners also responded well during their assessment to check on their level of understanding facts on the topic. The learners provided information on the questionnaires that asked on the subject of hand washing. Answering of questions helped me to assess whether the learner understood the topic (Smith, 2015). From the observations and feedback provided, the community responded positively to the teaching on the importance of hand washing and its appropriate technique.
The teaching on the importance of hand washing had some areas of strengths for appreciation and weaknesses for improvement. One of the advantages was the appropriate choice of the learning theory (Guo et al., 2018). The use of the social development theory was proper in teaching teenager because they operate effectively under the social influence. The other strength of educating the community on hand washing was the choice of the topic that relates to the goals and declarations of the healthy people 2020 and Alma-Ata respectively. The other strength of the teaching was the choice of a proper audience. Since infections due to contaminated hands are high in schools, teaching learner on the need for hand washing was a correct choice of the audience.
In spite of the strengths, the teaching also had some weaknesses. One of the weakness experiences was on the development of behavioral objectives. The teacher did not appropriately design the domain, content, and strategies for achieving behavioral goals (Birnback, 2017). The other weakness experienced was wrong perceptions on hand washing. Also, the teaching had the weakness of language barrier where the teacher was teaching the community at a lower level of education. The teacher was forced to use basic terms to ensure that the teenagers understand the facts on the subject matter. To some extent, the teacher was struggling to explain the points while the audience could not understand some terminologies used in the presentation. In enhancing future teaching practices, there is a need for prioritization of strengths and minimization of gaps.
Conclusively, teaching on the importance of hand washing has helped in improving my experience in community nursing. First, the teaching plan on hand washing had specific areas of focus. The teaching plan for use in educating the learners' on hand washing specified the mode of assessment. Hand washing and its relationship with the health of people have the epidemiological rationale. The teaching experience of the entire process of hand washings had some reflections on the response of the community. Communication was an essential part of the teaching experience s it determined the level of learners to understand facts on hand washing. The response of the community to teaching was positive. The part that showed the response of the community was during the evaluation. The education on the importance of hand washing had some areas of strengths for appreciation and weaknesses for improvement. In enhancing future teaching practices, there is a need for prioritization of strengths and minimization of gaps.
Birnback, D. (2017). The importance of hand washing. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 17(8), 811. doi: 10.1016/s1473-3099(17)30407-3
George, M. (2016). Teaching Hand Washing Techniques in a Community Using Innovative Teaching-Learning Methods. Asian Pacific Journal Of Health Sciences, 3(3), 167-172. doi: 10.21276/apjhs.2016.3.3.25
Guo, N., Ma, H., Deng, J., Ma, Y., Huang, L., Guo, R., & Zhang, L. (2018). Effect of hand washing and personal hygiene on hand food mouth disease. Medicine, 97(51), e13144. doi: 10.1097/md.0000000000013144
Lamb, S. (2018). The importance of teaching hygiene and hand washing skills. British Journal Of School Nursing, 4(9), 452-453. doi: 10.12968/bjsn.2009.4.9.45221
Smith, S. (2015). A review of hand-washing techniques in primary care and community settings. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 18(6), 786-790. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02546.x
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