Teaching and learning is not bound to just formal education, or within the comforts of a classroom or guided by an educational curriculum. Teaching and learning may happen in any place, as long as there's someone to be taught, someone willing to teach and something to impart…
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This paper is a reflection of a demonstration of a skill to a peer. I employed Gibbs' reflective cycle which is fairly straightforward and encourages a clear description of the situation, analysis of feelings, evaluation of the experience, analysis to make sense of the experience, conclusion where other options are considered and reflection upon experience to examine what I would do if the situation arose again.
So while I was there at the clinic where I work, I figured there is someone I can help on some skills. Turns out that there was a student nurse who was in placement for the day, to assist and to observe, and to learn in the process. To prep up, I established some rapport with her so she would feel comfortable with me when the time comes that I would have to teach her some new skills. I also arranged and prepared the things that would possibly be necessary for the work ahead for the day, asking her assistance when necessary so she would become acquainted with them.
The first patient arrived, a ten year old girl with her mom, and I greeted them with a smile to make them feel at ease. As a standard procedure, the patient's name was withheld in accordance with The Code of Professional Conduct (NMC 2002). While doing so, I introduced myself and the student nurse to the patient and her mother and explained exactly what my work entailed and what I was going to do. Afterwards, we checked the patient's health concern and apparently, the child is suffering from asthma from time to time and as an aid, she needs to know how to take her inhaler through a large volume spacer to help her with her condition. As such, she needed to know how to use the device so she can readily utilize it when the need arises.
So in essence, I had three students watching me demonstrate how to use the device --- the patient, her mother and the student nurse. In this case, I utilized two teaching styles: patient-centered and student-centered.
I showed them the device and demonstrated how to put the device together, how to use the spacer and how to maintain it. I did this in a relaxed and open manner to give them an impression that it is rather easy to do it, and then asked the patient to demonstrate back to me what I had just taught them. This is important to see if the patient has understood what has been conveyed to them. Kemm, et al (1995) states that a client is more likely to want to assimilate information that has been conveyed to them, if the planned learning is relevant and made interesting to the individual client. Besides the patient, I also asked the student nurse to demonstrate the skill back to me. In promoting learning in practice, mutual respect and valuing the merit of passing on nursing skills through practice-based learning is crucial (Glen and Parker, 2003).
I also provided verbal guidance and encouragement to the patient and guided her when necessary. Role models, according to Morton-Cooper and Palmer (2002), provide an observable image for imitation, demonstrating skills and qualities for mentees to emulate.
The patient's visit ended well and before she and her mother left, both of them assured me that they are already confident that they can utilize the device properly and with much practice, it is going to be easier after a while. Hopefully, the new skill helps the patient with easing her poor health condition.
Truthfully speaking, I am fully aware that the teaching session went well. I would credit it to the fact that my mentors taught me
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