As a nurse, I know that you never stop learning. And now, as a nursing instructor, I am in a teaching role, but am also continuing to learn – both about nursing and about teaching.
The last few days have highlighted the teaching and learning cycle and the value of being a lifelong learner. Let me tell you about it…
Very early Friday morning, my husband and I welcomed a baby boy to the world. Baby and I are both doing well – he’s my excuse for being out of the blogging world for a few days. I had the pleasure of having a student nurse look after me and my son. While many people are nervous to have a student look after them, I know from experience that patients are probably better looked after by students than by “real” nurses. Why? They don’t have huge workloads, they want to make sure they are doing everything exactly right, and they will always go the extra step. This particular student was a male, he said trying out his third career (a fellow lifelong learner!). Being a nurse myself, I might’ve been impatient with how long it took to complete an assessment (for example), but being an instructor as well, helped me to be patient and help the student have the best learning experience possible. If that meant he needed to check baby’s temperature 6 times, I was okay with that.
Watching the way the student did an assessment, processed information, and evaluated for any concerns or questions was interesting for me. It helped me to remember that everyone learns very differently, and while the process may vary, the end outcome is really what is important. I find that sometimes instructors get stuck on a student doing a task a very specific way, and if you ask the instructor what the rationale is, they aren’t actually sure.
Students are great questioners…reminding us to always reflect, “why do we do things the way we do?” And “is there a better way?”