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  1. sausti04

    WEEK #1 BLOG

    So, I decided to participate in this year’s blog challenge. This is my first year teaching in the nursing department as a full time faculty member. Prior to this I was working part time for the college and still working as a nurse full time in the clinical setting. I would consider myself a novice educator and still have a lot to learn. However, I have a lot of resources (especially all of my nursing faculty peers) to help me along the way.
    Teaching nursing students is a very rewarding job, especially when you finally get to see a certain topic or subject “click” in the student’s mind. However, there are certain challenges when working with students as well. The typical nursing student has to take several years of pre and co-requisite classes, and then fill out an application to get accepted into the program. Once they complete their two years of classes, they then have to get a background check, urine drug screen test, fingerprinted, have their immunizations up to date, and even take a HESI entrance exam test. Even if they have all of these completed, they still might be put on a waitlist if there are many applicants for the program.
    When students come into the program they usually think in “black and white.” Nursing school, on the other hand, has many different ways and styles to learn certain skills and material. One book from one author might vary from what the theory or skills instructor teaches in their class. This doesn’t mean that one person is wrong and the other is right, this just means that there are many different ways to teach a student a skill. As an experienced nurse, this makes sense, but to a brand new nursing student, this can be completely frustrating and stressful. They learn how to perform a skill (such as a head to toe assessment) one way, but then the skills instructor shows them how to approach it from a different angle, while the theory instructor teaches them additional information about it. When taking nursing exams, all of the choices to a question may be right, however, the student has to decipher which one is the “most correct” answer. The nursing student tends to freak out and start to think that they will never understand this material and that everything should be taught in terms of “black and white.”
    There is a lot of “gray areas” in nursing. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it just means there are a lot of ways to teach a certain skill or procedure. If you take five students and show them the proper way to wash their hands, and then have them demonstrate that skill to you all at the same time, they won’t do every step the exact same way as the other student. One student may turn off the faucet with their left hand, whereas the other uses their right. The bottom line is, as long as you are competent in what you are doing, safe at completing your skill, and maintaining strict aseptic or sterile technique when needed, you will be ok! Don’t sweat the small stuff! Nursing school is tough, but as a student you will grow to become a professional competent nurse at the end of the program. After all, who wants an incompetent or unsafe nurse to take care of you? I certainly would not.

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