January 26, 2010, by Teaching at Nottingham

Helping students to identify what they’ve learned on placement

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Annie: “We’ve had students out on placement before. They usually stay with us for about six weeks, and towards the end of the six weeks they’re starting to be involved with patient education. They do the sessions, the patient education sessions at phase three. They become more confident talking about coronary heart disease and risk factors and healthy diet and quitting smoking, and become quite a lot more aware about the other issues that are involved.”

Alison: “I think learning today, nursing is much more complex, healthcare is much more complex, they need to know how to learn, themselves, and how to trigger it themselves, as well as relying on other people to do it for them.”

Learning set meeting

Alison: “If I was to say to you show me one thing in your portfolio that shows you’ve changed in the way you relate to patients socially and using different communication, is there evidence in your portfolio to show that? How would you show it, when Veronica and Annie sign you off? Because that’s what this model is about. How do you show it? Need to know it but how do you show it?”

Jo: “It’s difficult to pinpoint, actually one, but I think, definitely confidence is something, you know, how I interact with patients, feel more confident, like, when they did the A and P session and, that I actually felt, you know…”

Annie: “I mean, you died at week one, didn’t you, when…”

Jo: “Yeah.”

Annie: “…I said, We’re going to (…) CHD talk by the time of six (months), Ahh. Which patients? I’ve got to draw?”

Jo: “(…) felt really good.”

Annie: “I know.”

Jo: “To actually stand up in front of a group of people and…”

Annie: “They were really receptive as well…”

Jo: “…talk about the heart and (…)”

Annie: “…weren’t they? They were a lovely group of patients.”

Alison: “So what do you think’s changed? Because if you can do that in week six, right, did you have to rehearse it? practise it?”

Jo: “No, not at all. Just in the deep, I think it’s because it was knowledge, I’d got the knowledge, that had been took over the weeks…”

Alison: “So that gave you the background?”

Jo: “…and that gave me the background, definitely. I knew what I was talking about. And that helps, doesn’t it?”

Alison: “And did you have to think about how you presented the information, you think about language?”

Jo: “Yeah. Yeah. We talked about that, language and that, we did that phase ones, didn’t we, go round, talk about risk factors and things, and draw…”

Annie: “Drawing.”

Jo: “…yeah, drawing the, you know…”

Annie: “They can visualise it, using the models as well. (…) the heart models and the atherosclerosis models and passed it round so they can have a play with it as well, so that they can do their own investigation.”

Jo: “Yeah. That’s right.”

Annie: “But your drawings were very good.”

Jo: “And just using language, isn’t it, really, not using all the medical terms and just furring up and scale (…) kettle.”

Annie: “Valves are used as doors.”

Jo: “That’s right.”

Annie: “Between the dining room and the lounge.”

Jo: “The door that’s ajar.”

Alison: “Oh that’s interesting…”

Jo: “Yeah.”

Alison: “…metaphor, isn’t it?”

Jo: “That’s right and, yeah…”

Annie: “And they could understand that concept, can’t they, that if your door is damaged, if the hinges are damaged, then the door doesn’t shut properly, which is what’s happening to your valves.”

Jo: “Your valves. And the kettle, the scale, the limescale in the kettle…”

Annie: “Limescale in the kettle, yeah.”

Jo: “For the plaque building up and…”

Alison: “Did you, were those kind of examples you used or the…”

Jo: “Yes. Yeah.”

Alison: “…or what you’d learned from other people?”

Jo: “What I’d learned but what I used in the talk, so.”

Alison: “Okay. So you said you just jumped in but you didn’t just jump in then?”

Jo: “Well, no…”

Annie: “You did. I shoved you in.”

Jo: “Yeah.”

Alison: “But in some ways, you’ve gone through a process of absorbing all the skills from Annie and all the colleagues so you must have perhaps taken part and rehearsed some of it without almost…”

Jo: “Yeah, I did, yeah.”

Annie: “(…) that new sort of phase one of (…)”

Jo: “Yeah. Yeah.”

Alison: “So, in some ways, what I would like to see, and possibly, there may be a way of getting you, getting some evidence, is, how did that progress happen? What did you learn about what made you feel more confident? Because that’s what your portfolio is about, I changed in my ability to… So it’s like, it’s almost like writing a learning summary for yourself.”

Jo: “Getting rid of all the fluffy bits, and looking at what the main points are and using that and learning from it or whether I’d do the same or whether I’d change it and do something different, and it, it’s just very focussed and that’s how I like to learn.”

Annie: “I think it’s nice to have this time, because things happen and things go on, you know? Something will happen, then something else will happen and something else will happen, and I think the point of these learning, shared learning experiences is you have time to actually sit down and look at those different experiences whereas sometimes time is quite valuable, and I think, if you didn’t have that time, you’d lose that experience.”

Annie Byng, Alison Clark and Jo-anne Fisher (School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy).

Extracts from meetings between student nurses, their professional mentors and an academic, and interviews with the participants, produced as part of a CEPPL funded project on placement learning.
This article was originally published as part of PESL’s Teaching at Nottingham collection. Produced January 2010.

Posted in Placements and work based learning