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The purpose of this advice paper is to help other people in the Practical Nursing program at St. Clair College, I will be doing this by talking about semantic networks, inattentional blindness, and the illusion of confidence. As nursing students we strive to help as many patients as possible and make sure they have our full eyes and ears.
Firstly, I would like to say that in nursing school there are many things that you need to memorize. It can be very difficult to try to keep up with all theories, terminologies, and new discoveries along the way.
Something that helped me memorize these materials was priming my memory by using the semantic network theory. This approach is done by associating words with other key words that are alike. This theory works by our brain activating from the other key words that we were exposed to, also known as “neighbouring words “and linking them together. An example of when this has helped me in my practical nursing program was when I associated the key word nursing with the principles of nursing which are: justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, accountability, fidelity, autonomy, and veracity.
Secondly, in nursing it is extremely important for us to keep a good monitor on all of our patients when in our clinical class. This is so we know how each of our patients are doing and can keep an extra eye on any bad reactions to medication, etc. A way that we can remain more focused on patient care is knowing that everyone has an inattentional blindness.
This means that we fail to perceive an object because we haven’t actually paid attention to it. By realizing we don’t always perceive things, it’s a good idea to keep a closer eye on patient’s monitors, medication, and symptom to avoid error. For example, a time after I learned about inattentional blindness I started to pay more attention to my surroundings while at clinical placement to prevent further patient damage. I believe that this is a great tool because it can save our patients lives and makes us perceive more objects around us.
Lastly, in nursing school it’s very easy to lose confidence in yourself due to the amount of information we learn and practise everyday, thus leading to less confidence. The theory of illusion of confidence states that confidence is often mistaken for competence. This then leads to the Dunning-Kruger Effect concluding that in general incompetent people tend to be over confident and highly competent people tend to be under confident. Many examples of when I have felt under confident were when I had to practise assessments, vital signs, and perform accu-chek on patients but ended up exceeding on all. Sometimes it’s just a mind game and we have to believe in our knowledge or do extra research to ensure we know what to do.
Therefore in conclusion, to become a better practical nursing student you can: study using semantic networks, know your surroundings, and be humble about your knowledge. By doing so you will realize how becoming a nurse not only is about the maths about sciences, but the psychology and critical thinking that is involved
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