I have come to learn that a nurse is both an instructor and a caregiver. Even the nurses that are not professional educators, in the field of nursing, in the various institutions of higher learning are still instructors. They teach patients as well as their families certain basic hygiene and health issues. This kind of instruction happens when a patient is discharged from the health facility or is an out-patient. Therefore, it is essential that every nurse is equipped with at least basic instructional principles and practices. Education in nursing, as I now realize, involves both theory and practice. There is the part where as a teaching nurse, I have to deliver content orally and there are situations where I have to let my students do some practice.
The field of nursing has advanced technologically just as the whole world has. There are machines and computers which continue to develop day by day. Such technologies are not only used in the actual practice of nursing but also during training. Teaching is also now done through powerpoint presentations and customized e-books. What I have learned in the past eight weeks is that teaching or training is quite unique in nursing. This is because the students could change anytime and so as an instructor I have to keep myself updated from to time. By students changing I mean a change in context for instance trainees and a welfare group in the community. Given the significant effects of culture on nursing practice, I have to be familiar with several cultures. This is not only applicable to my sessions with actual students but also to situations where I'm called upon to offer health care education to a community.
What stands out in this entire unit is the realization that as a nursing instructor, I have no second chances. Unlike in the past where education provided me with a second chance in Canada, here, I have to be extremely cautious. I have come to the realization that past my hands, my students have nowhere else to rectify mistakes or shape themselves. The next stage is the reality of having several lives in their hands. A little negligence means loss of life, an end of a family, a destruction of destinies or even a deletion of an entire generation.
Considering my past experiences and how they continue to shape my teaching perspective and the full learning of teaching in the practice of nursing; I choose to adjust my goals and strategies, to adapt to the above-mentioned realization. While I believe that pushing students to their limits or using punishment and fear as a teaching method is outdated, I think in nursing, it is necessary to induce a little fear in the trainees to serve as a constant reminder that they will be handling lives. Moderate punishment is also important to make them serious with studies and practice because the real punishment due to failure out in the field is almost eternal.
Consequently, my goals will remain the same except that instead of maintaining semi-formal relationships with my students, I will keep it professional. I need to be objective because I believe I'm handling life-savers and there is nothing to take casual in that. However, towards the very end after critical tests on students, I will establish moderate informal relationships with them to usher them into the world of nursing. I find that strategy important because serious assessment requires objectivity which parallels professional relationship. The Evaluation Discussion
Originally, I aimed at letting the learning process be learner-centered. However, I'm currently convinced that that is correct to some other fields of teaching but less effective in nursing. As I have pointed out, Nursing is a bit unique. Both the learner and the teacher have to give meticulous attention to detail during learning. I have also come to the realization that there are naturally gifted students but are weighed down by a little laziness. Such students cannot be given independence to work or study as they choose. I must take the initiative to help them overcome their weakness which is laziness through moderate punishment if need be (Skirton, 2006). While I initially thought that I could leave the leaners with the responsibility of finding themselves by working on their weaknesses and fears, I have to closely condition them so that they turn out just as I want them to be. I view the teacher a bit differently because I consider them shapers and molders of destiny.
Values like diligence, commitment, and dedication are all essential for nursing (Sudha, 2013). The current perception reveals that those values cannot be instilled in learners if they are left to study freely with minimum supervision, moderate assessment, and informal relationships as originally strategized. In my current stand, I have chosen to be a little hard on my students and monitor their learning process closely. This shifts the initial goal of learner's freedom to the teacher's effort where the final product is professionally trained, competent, and dedicated nurse. While the current teaching personality of me as a teacher is quite different from the former, the teaching methods remain the same. I still opt to use role-playing, face to face teaching, demonstrations, and thorough assessment.
Skirton, H. (2006). Essentials of Teaching and Learning in Nursing Ethics - Perspectives and methods essential for Teaching and Learning in Nursing Ethics - Perspectives and Methods. Nursing Standard,21(4), 30-30. doi:10.7748/ns2006.10.21.4.30.b528
Sudha, R. (2013). Chapter-03 Instructional Media and Methods. Nursing Education: Principles and Concepts,119-154. doi:10.5005/jp/books/11730_3
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