This journal entry is about reflecting on the following quote: “learning from one’s experience involves not just reflection, but critical reflection.” (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 117)
I selected this quote because I learned from my own experience that I had to spend some time to thoroughly reflect on some areas of my working/thinking habits in order to become a better nurse educator. I realized that one becomes better at whatever profession or career one does for a living when taking the time to reflect on how one could improve. For example, I realized that the way I teach adult learners was the way I preferred to be taught. Recognizing my teaching style may not always be as effective when illustrated to other students, I needed to be mindful of each student’s needs. In order to become successful in my teaching, I had to obtain feedback from my students in order for me to reflect on the matter. Also, I noticed the positive response I received when I provided my students immediate feedback as soon as I reflected on a solution to resolve any issues. As for my recent group of students, most of them required more instructional guidance when faced with challenging patient health scenario or how to utilize different equipments i.e. bladder scan, doppler ultrasound, intravenous pump machine, etc. Thus, I found critical self-reflection was paramount when mentoring adult students to become the future nurses.
When I interpreted this quote, I thought to myself: “Who would have thought that my routine self reflection is going to be advantageous to my teaching career”. This was my “aha” moment. I knew that it was important for me to reflect on my own nursing practice, identifying my own values and principles, etc. I recall encouraging my students to do the same when writing their journal entries. I remember one student asked me, “Why do we need to write a self-reflection journal?” My response was: “This may not seem relevant to you now because you may think of it as another paper assignment rather than considering it as your own self-initiated reflection. However, this is a way to get you to exercise a good habit on how you think you did throughout this clinical experience. I personally reflect all the time and it helps me cope and become a better nurse when I try to identify the things that I could have improved or how I could have done things differently. Sometimes, I also share my thoughts and feelings with my colleagues and obtain their suggestions, and so on.” At the time, I sensed my students were getting exhausted as they were approaching near the end of the nursing program having to write more papers. I knew it was an added stress, having to think about what to write in their journal on top of the challenging duties they encountered in the clinical setting. However, I had to find ways to get them to understand the purpose of this assignment by sharing my personal coping mechanism. I thought my strategy was effective at the time when trying to keep my students on track.
Having to reflect on this quote, it motivates me to continue encouraging my adult students to do the same practice. I believe it is a great way to better one’s working or thinking habits in relation to work ethic. I recognize that I need to find a way to better deliver the same message or quote to my students that they can practically relate to. For example, I may ask my students to share their own personal experience or previous work experience. Most of my students had a caregiver background and had worked in the field for several years prior to taking the nursing program. In the future, I would try to strategically plan by having them analyze their way of thinking i.e. nurse versus care aide. I may get them to ask themselves: “Was my initial reaction to my nursing intervention embodying a nurse versus a care aide mentality? How could I change my way of thinking to be more like a nurse than a care aide?” My goal is to get them to reflect on their critical thinking, and after that comes the prioritization skills, nursing actions and/or interventions. Therefore, I could see myself using this quote as part of my future teaching strategy.
Consequently, I realized how a single line of quote such as this one could make such an impact on my own personal thinking. In relation to my professional background, I found this topic pertinent to my teaching practice.