Higher Education Institutions need to continually adapt to meet the needs of students, employers, and society in general. In order to meet these needs, the theoretical knowledge and skill-based components required by graduates when entering the workforce must be constantly reviewed. As a consequence, academics face constant challenges in developing innovative teaching practices, activities promoting skill development, and assessment tasks which will equip graduates with the necessary employability skills for their profession, for lifelong learning, and for self-development.
The use of reflective practice as an integral component of undergraduate assessment and skill development is observed across a variety of academic disciplines. Reflective practice is typically used across these disciplines to engage students in the development of self reflection skills and abilities, and in contextualizing the links between theoretical knowledge and professional experience and outcomes. Reflective practice can be defined as a learning process involving the examination of individual critical incidents and behaviors, the deconstruction of one experiences’ in light of knowledge held, and the resultant formation of new knowledge which can be applied to personal or professional practice (Davis, 2003; Klenowski & Carnell, 2006; Murphy, Halton, & Dempsey, 2008; Pedro, 2005). Reflective practice is self-regulated, and engages the learner in a process of relating theory and practice (Kuiper & Pesut, 2004; Lesnick, 2005; Pavlovich, 2007).
Research has indicated that the development of reflective practice skills, and the engagement of higher education students in this process allows for the examination of how personal experiences prompt learning, and how this learning relates to professional experience (Bates, 2008). The process of engaging in reflective practice allows the development of personal and professional skills which lead to an integration of personal knowledge and experience, academic theory and knowledge, and relevant professional experience (Donaghy & Morss, 2007; McMullan, 2006; Thorpe, 2004). In addition, this newly integrated and formed knowledge, through guided facilitation or supervision, can then be applied to future professional outcomes and experiences (O’Halloran, Hean, Humphris, & Macleod-Clark, 2006).
Recent research highlights the need for reflective practice processes to be contextualised to the post-graduation employment sector students are preparing to practice within (Boud & Falchikov, 2006; Lesnick, 2005; Pedro, 2005). As such, it is recommended that student assessment be based upon students developing the skills for work which are needed beyond the university experience. Encompassed within the development of these skills, is the need for students to reflect upon and judge their learning experiences and achievements, determine how adequate their performance has been, critically engage in a process of selfreflection, and evaluate their performance (Hinett & Weeden, 2000; McMullan, 2006). This process initiated and developed through the teaching of and engagement in reflective practice, leads students to self-direct their learning, and work-tasks, identify and be motivated to develop areas for change, and promotes further learning. Hence, learning is contextualised through reflective practice (Boud & Falchikov, 2006; Lesnick, 2005; Pedro, 2005).
It is important to note reflective practice is not only beneficial to undergraduates, but also to university tutors, lecturers, and course coordinators (Clegg, Tan, & Saeidi, 2002; Crow & Smith, 2005; Pedro, 2005; Thorpe, 2000). Not dissimilar to that observed in students, the process of assessors examining student assessments containing prose written in the form of reflection, places academics in a position to question the perceived needs of students, and the curriculum being taught relative to (i) what modules are being taught in the curriculum, (ii) why specific curriculum modules are included within the course syllabus, (iii) if the curriculum modules are effective in meeting student and workplace needs, (iv) if curriculum modules need to be changed to better address the perceived needs and skills of students and workplaces, and (v) how can the identified curriculum modules be changed (Pedro, 2005).
The analysis of student reflections can lead to an examination of the pros and cons of the current course curricula, and the redevelopment and realignment of this curricula to enhance student learning and skill development (Bulpitt & Martin, 2005; Kember, McKay, Sinclair, & Jess Heerde & Berni Murphy, Reflective Practice Annotated Bibliography, 2009 4 | PageWong, 2008). Furthermore, the transferability of skills from higher education into the workplace may be enhanced, and the employment opportunities for students post-graduation increased through assessment of student reflections (Bulpitt & Martin, 2005; Harris & Bretag, 2003; Pedro, 2005).
It was my third semester being a student nurse where I posted at Hospital Selayang. The accidents happened on Thursday morning. There are about 8 patient on beds and some of them are tractions, having a wound dressing on leg and some having amputation. At that time, our CI is not around because she has to handle 2 wards. The accident occur when one of staff nurse assign me to do simple wound dressing.
I and one of my members prepared all equipment needed to do wound dressing. After we finished completing equipment, we immediately go to the patient and start to dressing. Because of ward are too busy, we decided to do without any supervise by staff nurse. During dressing, the sister suddenly came and saw us do the dressing without supervise by CI. More badly, we forget to put inco-pad below patient leg.
The sister shouted us to stop the dressing and leave from the patient. The sister said that we are not allowed to do any procedure without supervise by our CI. Then she blame us for not obey the guide line of wound dressing. I have to do a report about what occurred just now. After being scolded by sister and CI, I felt guilty and can’t stop think about it just a simple wound dressing I had made a mistake.
At that time, I still blaming myself for the mistake I have done. I never thought that it will happen to me. I was shocked and feel scared because I not doing the procedure in supervised by my own CI and caught by sister in ward. This is the first time I heard sister’s voice and facing in front of me. I became numb, speechless and my mind turns to blank and empty. I felt very guilty and I cannot stop thinking it every time I went to posting area. I felt very stressful because sister was annoyed. I will take this accident as a great lesson to make a change in me in future.
As I analyzed and encounter the situation, I reflect myself on how it could be occurred and happened to me. the first and the main point are, I felt very confident in accomplishing the wound dressing procedure. This is because I felt that the procedure was simple so I obey the guideline of wound dressing in which I forgot to put incontinence pad and failed to maintain sterility on my field.
Beside that, because of lack of knowledge I had also made my dressing procedure become complicated to handle. I also realized that my level of knowledge of wound dressing still low. Little experiences are not enough to master wound dressing procedure.
Furthermore, I realized by doing the procedure without supervised by CI of staff nurse. I made a big mistake which is not followed the role as a student nurse. I should not do anything without supervised by CI. Obey CI instruction is a bad behavior that I have to change to be a good student.
In my point of view, I feel that the situation could change in the future is I must do more practice on my wound dressing procedure. At this time, I need more knowledge to answer sister’s question and most importantly, I must be careful in maintaining sterility so that I will not be scolded by sister.
The implication of mistaken the wound dressing principle to the institution are, the students from same institution will be rejected from that hospital because of less quality. The student nurse will encounter self low-esteem to face patient because of their seniors.
Plus, the family members will lost belief in our work and not allow the student to do any procedure on the patient. Besides that, they will not trusting to my own institution and we have to hand over to staff nurse in-charges.
In my recommendation, I could improve my skill to change in the future by a continuously practice in correct way of dressing. The repeated practice of wound dressing will help me to enable a good skill on that procedure. My theories are still in lower position. So, I have to gain more knowledge and information to make it perfect.
The skill will be more skillful by supervise from the CI. She will correct any error while I am doing any procedure and added with some brilliant point. Beside that, I must make sure that all equipments are complete without missing any apparatus in doing wound dressing. I have to double check to minimize risk of forgotten equipment. With all this, the result of being mistake will be zero.
I am not aware that all nurses should being in a collaborative network that foster partnering with others. This is because most of the nurse today receive perception during their orientation to a clinical position or coaching for a special project or promoting they are spires them.
Beside that, I also being aware that if someone to be more perfect to done a wound dressing. We must need a concept of mentoring in nursing and suggest its strongest relationship is as a ‘teaching learning process for the socialization of nurse scholars and scientists and the proliferation of a body of professional knowledge’ (steward and Krueger, 1996). This is because a student a student must need a help from their CI will tell his or her student for what is wrong or what is right.
I also being aware of the nurse need to broaden their connection with others so that each nurse is introduced to the multiple benefits of being network. This is because of my scenario I did get any connection the staff nurse to observe me done a dressing made my mistake. it would be advantages to begin getting involved with this mentoring spirit early in one’s career. It is known that nurse who had been mentors tend to mentor other (Vancer & Olson (1998); Yoder (1998))
In this scenario, I have learnt from my experience need an mentoring in nursing encompassed a guided experience, formally or in formerly assigned, over a mutually agreed-on period, that empowers the mentor and mentee to develop personally and professionally with the auspices of caring; collaborative competent, and respect environment.
Courtney from Study Moose
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