This self-reflective journal is based on the quote from Carl Rogers: “an educated person is one who has learned how to learn…how to adapt and change” (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 31)
Choosing this quote, I learned how significant it is to be receptive to new learning whether it would be related to my nursing profession or other areas of interest. It made me realize that an educated individual with an open mind could gain more knowledge compared to a person who was narrow-minded or reluctant to accept new learning or change.
This quote caught my attention because of its relevance to my daily working life, being a critical care nurse in a teaching hospital and a clinical nurse educator, where I constantly communicate and work with various healthcare team members gaining knowledge from each specialized team member on how to stabilize a critically ill patient. I also thought that this quote delivered a powerful meaning in a sense that it brought a clear perception of how one could become successful in ones career and be resilient. I also felt that my future students could benefit from this concept because I would encourage them to do the same. I recalled advising my previous group of students that even though I had been a nurse for several years I still found myself learning new things every time I went to work. This showed them that being educated did not mean that I remained stagnant in my nursing knowledge and that I still sought new ways to gain more knowledge so I could improve myself in my nursing practice as well as an adult educator.
I realized that teaching comes with a willingness to accept new knowledge or ways of learning. As a clinical nurse educator, I would need to be able to reciprocate this key idea of resiliency to my adult students in order to succeed in my teaching. For instance, I would have my students answer the following questions: 1) how do they learn best; 2) what their expectations are during their clinical experience; and 3) how they would like to receive feedback. Therefore, I could gain insight on how I would need to adjust in my way of teaching in order to meet my students’ learning goals/needs. Furthermore, this illustrates to my students that I value their learning needs by acquiring daily feedback or ongoing dialogue to follow-up on their progress throughout their clinical experience. This way, I can better determine whether my teaching strategy needs adjustment or initiate a collaborative student-instructor discussion to assist the student in having better success in the course.
My interpretation of this quote is that when an educated individual knows how to become open minded to new learning, he/she continues to grow in his/her profession and become successful in his/her career. In my experience, I continue to crave new learning, as it makes me a more well rounded person. I find it easier to assimilate to change and adjust to my work environment accordingly. For example, every few months I get an opportunity to attend various in-service educational days where I currently work at the Vancouver General Hospital – Intensive Care Unit. My unit educators would conduct sessions on how to care for burn patients; how to initiate a continuous renal replacement therapy similar to hemodialysis; how to assess neurologically ill patients with external ventricular device, and so on. As an adult learner, I become more appreciative when provided with new learning opportunities because this enhances my nursing knowledge in which I could also potentially use to educate my future students.
With this quote in mind, I feel like I could share all the things I have learned to my future students. For example, I would emphasize in the beginning of the teaching on active listening, promote effective communication skills as well as encourage my adult students to be open-minded and respectful upon receiving tools to perform certain nursing skills and to avoid taking constructive criticism as a personal attack. I decided to mention this particular example because of my recent experience having a student who took my constructive criticism personally. It was a very challenging situation when conversing with my adult student, who was much older than I am. She seemed to be reluctant to hearing feedback because the next time I placed her with the same patient she was still unable to execute the nursing skill accordingly.
Overall, this quote makes me realize how important it is to be willing to learn, be open-minded and be receptive to change in order to become a successful adult educator or learner.