Over a year ago I completed further study, this came after many years of working on the wards may be more than anything I was in my comfort zone with work, it was time to challenge myself
The course I decided to complete was the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116) mainly because I was keen to move into a role within education. The night before the first class I was extremely apprehensive as I was filled with emotions of doubt, it was a long time since I was in a classroom and even more so I wasn’t sure what was going to be involved in the learning of becoming an educator.
I remember walking into the classroom nervously, I saw the group of people around me and immediately I thought ‘everyone here in this class is my peer’, everyone had a health background as either nurses or midwives. Each individual was from a different specialty and the group was diverse, that made me relax a little as we all could relate as we spoke the same ‘job language’.
Like any first day it was nerve wrecking and maybe because I’m used to being on my feet I couldn’t sit still, yet as the weeks went on I had to keep up with a pace as each session moved quickly, it was good as I wasn’t allowed to take the path of least resistance. Both the course work and class work had to be done within strict deadlines, even though it was hard work it was exhilarating to see the whole group working so well together by supporting and guiding each other in a mutual way.
Seeing the same people each week gave me a strong sense of community, I felt engaged when the teacher started the sessions as she had an amazing energy, for adult learning she is a resource of unspeakable value and had a never ending amount of force for positivity.
As a ward nurse I was used to regularly supporting students in the ward environment as a preceptor and I was accustomed to real life workplace training. I realised after completing this course that education isn’t allowing others to be dependent on an educator but it is more to guide a student with their individual learning styles. We all come from different levels of education and its amazing how many different ways one topic/subject can be interpreted by different people, because of this I see that it is important as an educator to adjust to each persons way of learning.
After completing this course with all my great peers I obtained a role as a Clinical Facilitator, the first thing I saw on placements was that students were trying to bring what they have learnt from the classroom into the placement setting and they were trying to transfer that into a practical work setting.
I met the students in the setting of nursing homes on their first placements, its interesting to observe the students who have never been exposed to that area of healthcare before. They had a lot of questions while they were trying to work out the role of a nurse out of the traditionally viewed hospital setting.
The setting that I met students in wasn’t seen as ‘sexy’ to them, for example it is very different than being on placement in the emergency department. I realised that the different settings may be difficult, uncomfortable or even strange to the students. I hope that when they experienced the placement of the nursing home environment that it allowed them to realise that the day in day out work of a nurse matters most to the person who is receiving care.
In a lot of ways nursing is not linear, as nurses we instinctively adapt to different peoples care needs or even to changes that happen in any work day, for students there is so much to digest especially with how ‘grey’ the role of nursing really is.
The students got to explore the setting of the placement as visitors but I still see the students as professionals especially as they are part of the team. What I found amazing was that even though I was in my role, the students were actually teaching me as they brought a different and even a fresh perspective with them on placements. Maybe after years of nursing I’ve become accustomed to ‘this is the way we do things’, the students didn’t come from that traditional mindset as they asked valid questions and these questions made me stop and adjust my ‘lens’ of nursing.
Its funny being in a role of clinical facilitator as this is where the learning has started for me, articulating what you know to others in a simple way does test any nurses knowledge and experience. I see today’s students as the future of our industry, after all you may be looking after me at some point.
Stay Teachable – Aussie Nurse