The Practice Arena as a Learning Environment

One of the main reasons why human beings differ from animals is their ability to learn new ideas very fast and apply them in their normal life situations. People derive most of their skills and knowledge from society through various institutions like the family that imparts basic communication skills to children as they grow up. Each day people learn new ideas and skills and the process of learning never ends until a person dies. This essay aims at outlining the various learning environment available to practising nurses and the challenges facing them.

The physical environment forms the major part of the life of a nurse and involves the medical tools and apparatus used for treatment and attending to patients. A person should always ensure that all the apparatus used in medical rooms are familiar to them (Edberg 2009). Despite the many apparatus being used each one of them has a specific function and a person should ensure he has the necessary knowledge on handling and using them.

This environment includes all the types of drugs that are used by patients and what drug is used to treat what type of diseases. However, when a nurse does not have an adequate idea regarding a given apparatus or drug it may cause major risks in patients’ health that may result in death. Awareness of a nurse’s physical environment is improved by following instructions and observing other colleagues performing their duties.

The social environment comprises the individuals involved in the whole medical fraternity and the public. This includes the staff that perform various duties in medical centres and the patients and their family members. The relationship among the medical staff members should be given the maximum respect they deserve as this determines the quality and level of cooperation among them (Glanz 2008).

These relationships should border within the medical professional ethics that stipulates formal and service-oriented relationships among staff members. Whenever such codes of conduct have been violated the quality of work delivered is compromised and this puts the patients’ life at risk and subjects the medical fraternity to negative publicity. All medical staff should always promote open relationships that are guided by service delivery and not emotions and affections towards each other. The partnership is a very vital learning point in the life of any medical practitioner just like any other profession. All health facilities comprise various departments that work in unison to ensure all patients get the full services they require.

All the departments in a medical establishment starting from the customer care and reception departments to the theatres and wards are connected and rely on the efficiency and cooperation of each other (Frumkin 2010). Therefore without one sector functioning well, almost all departments will be inefficient. Health care centres have associations with the public in terms of supplying other essentials apart from drugs for treatment and other clinical tools. This includes the provision of water, security and casual labour to the health centres. People learn how these departments work together for the smooth running of the health care centres.

Reliability, unity and understanding are the main pillars that work to the improvement of partnerships in any medical entity. Learning opportunities are always presented in health facilities in terms of weekly and monthly meetings to analyse the past performance and issues arising which need greater attention and improvement. It is also presented in terms of lectures from the staff members or people from outside the hospitals who have knowledge and experience in the medical field (Iwasiw 2008).

Sometimes other non-medical lectures are given to the staff members that are important and include investment services. People should take such events very serious since they are aimed at improving service delivery to the patients and at the same time suggest ways of attaining self-satisfaction by nurses. These learning opportunities are improved through paying attention to issues discussed and seeking clarifications on matters that were not properly addressed. Formal learning is available in all departments in any medical unit starting from the general instructions outlined in the medical ethics and codes of conduct and letters sent to people in the unit (Novick 2010).

It involves the posters and notices placed on the notice boards of the various departments available in the hospital. Informal learning takes place where individuals use observation and context and content analysis of the occurrences and activities that go on in the medical units (Bastable 2009). An individual can learn from looking at the way his/her colleagues do their work and handle patients and apply the same skills in performing their duties. They may seek clarifications from their fellow staff on issues that seem unclear to them.

Formal and informal learning are always improved through paying attention to demonstrations, instructions and steps that are being followed by their colleagues when attending to patients. Learning theories are important in helping people acquire new skills and knowledge in any environment. In a medical unit the ‘Behaviourist Theory of Learning’ applies to nurses since they continue to gain more experience and skills by the behaviour of others (Pender 2010).

Learning is a vital tool in gaining knowledge since the human mind is always in the process of getting new ideas and processing them to make important assets in their daily activities. The ‘Humanistic Theory of Learning’ stipulates that people are driven by the desire to get knowledge and control of the environment by learning and the teachers form a link between the learners and the subjects being discussed. This is the best theory that applies to a medical unit since the practitioners seek to identify various ways through which the patients suffer and try to find the best way to treat them. Learning by the application of these theories can be improved through paying total attention to all the necessary details and events and having a very good memory of past experiences.

Learning involves a process that is outlined in the following learning styles, the ‘David Kolb’s Model’ that is based on learning by experimenting that outlines basic experience and immaterial understanding. In addition, he also outlines thoughtful surveillance and active testing as means through which the human mind responds to their needs (Lynn 2010). He outlines four learning styles in this model that involves abstract understanding and active experimentation which is the use of inferential thinking to unravel difficulties this is called the ‘Divergent Style of Learning’ (Lynn 2010).

This involves using tangible capabilities in life and thoughtful surveillance that are important in having new thoughts and a different viewpoint on issues. ‘Accommodation Style of Learning’ involves intellectual thinking and thoughtful surveillance that help in forming speculative replicas by the use of inductive thinking. Secondly, ‘Honey and Mumford’s Model of Learning Styles’ outlines four approaches to an effective learning course and this includes getting ideas, studying them, creating inferences and designing for subsequent actions. This is so far the best learning style preferred for this unit. This style is improved by the cautious study of actions for one to be fully prepared with the essential ideas required in future. The learning sphere comprises actions that lead to the attainment of information by an individual.

People are guided by three learning spheres that include reasoning, emotional, and body movements. The reasoning sphere includes the growth of rational skills and awareness that differs from the capability to reminisce proofs to the capacity of appraisal and examining the given information (Morris 2012). The emotional sphere involves how a person handles ideas with moods, ethics, enthusiasm, and insolences that create a very important aspect in any professional unit.

The growth of these skills is examined by the correctness of skills used and is achieved by continuous practice. All these spheres of a person’s learning should be supported through total commitment to work and constant practice to boost their correctness and exactness by any nurse. Even though education has limits, the process of learning is a continuous activity in human beings. Pedagogy refers to an education system that targets the youths and tutors play the most important role in choosing what should be learnt by pupils and the time this is done (McDonald 2007).

While Andragogy is helping the adults learn by letting them decide what they want to learn, how and when to learn it, the teachers take a back seat and observe while the students learn. All medical practitioners should ensure that they do not just transmit the classroom knowledge into the machinery scheme but rather they should include the practical application of skills to create a student-oriented education system through the use of proper motivation that yields thoughts, distribute familiarities and guarantees that good training is encouraged amongst all physicians in the entity.

Pedagogy is the most suitable one since the teachers are the ones who know what is best for their students through their many years of experience and training in the profession. Andragogy can be enhanced by the formation of plans that enable tutors to generate agenda for training by adult students. Role modelling shows a very vital role in ensuring that the acquired skills are passed from one person to another through imitation of the expected assets.

Role modelling in nursing involves the attainment of new performance without the dangers related to experimenting and inaccuracy of doing things for themselves (Billings 2008). This involves knowledge gained from experience using the ‘Humanist and Social Learning Theories’. People usually struggle to acquire the necessary education, and this is done well when they feel free to state and select their way of learning and tutors become their source of knowledge and education organisers.

Counsellors are a vital part of this process of learning and should support their pupils to find out which way their education should take and enable the best settings (Benner 2009). Modelling is guided by the pupil’s inspiration, capacity to assume the character, the subject being exhibited and the bond between the student and person being modelled. The ethics of ‘Social Learning Theories’ help all role models to properly organise personal training that helps in smooth and effective knowledge acquisition by students since character exhibiting is training by case study and examples (Keating 2010).

Functioning with and seeing a counsellor allows apprentices to adopt their teachers’ skills and behaviour by reflecting on their past experiences with them emulating their behaviour and building on past information and understanding. Self-awareness is a procedure where people can make their tests regarding their abilities, aptitudes and conduct. They also value and grade themselves by asking other people to respond to questions on what they think of them and analyse their responses. ‘Johari Window’ is a system by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham established in 1955 and makes people aware of their intellectual state (Oermann 2009). It involves a random activity of giving people a list of 56 words containing adjectives and asking them to pick the best that gives a good explanation of their feelings and knowledge, the same is given to friends of the person to respond regarding them.

They are then recorded on a lattice with four rooms where the first room represents what we and others see about us (Gaberson 2010). The second room is what others see about us but we do not see, the third room is the involuntary part that neither we nor our peers see. The fourth room is what we know about ourselves but we keep it a very deep secret out of public contact and awareness. Through personal consciousness defined by the ‘Johari Window’ we can learn about ourselves and what other people think about us and hence can correct our weaknesses and improve on our strong points.

Depression is a quality that most models suffer but this is easily overcome by gradual growth of a person’s channels of social interactions and the way a person relates with others. The person can express the bad emotions that are hidden and this helps very much in dealing and resolving since it is assumed that when a problem is shared between two people or among friends it is already half solved. This means that a person’s psychology plays a very important role in dealing with problems of emotions and feelings which if not attended to may affect the mental stability of the individual. The result of mental instability is manifested in the quality of work produced as commitment and alertness at work become less and weak.

This practising arena as a learning environment is an exciting avenue for people to teach and learn new skills as it involves all the essential aspects of a nurse and full interactions with others. It describes all the necessary tools that are vital for personal and group development of skills and knowledge for better performance at work. This proves that learning is a continuous process in life.

References

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Billings, D. (2008). Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty. London: Saunders Publishing.

Edberg, M. (2009). Essential Readings in Health Behaviour: Theory and Practice. New York: Jones and Bartlett Publishing.

Frumkin, H. (2010). Environmental Health: From Global to Local. New Jersey: Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Gaberson, K. (2010). Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Glanz, K. (2008). Health Behaviour and Health Practice. New Jersey: Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Iwasiw, C. (2008). Curriculum Development in Nursing Education. New York: Jones and Bartlett Publishing.

Keating, S. (2010). Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Lynn, P. (2010). Taylors Clinical Nursing: A Nursing Process Approach. New York: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins Publishing.

Morris, A. (2012). Transformative Learning in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Novick, L. (2010). Public Health Administration: Principles for Population Based Management. New York: Jones and Bartlett Publishing.

Pender, J. (2010). Health Promotion in Nursing Practice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Morris, A. (2012). Transformative Learning in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Oermann, M. (2009). Evaluation and Testing in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company.