UBC academic gets first-hand experience in clinical learning
Now he knows what a day is like on a busy hospital ward. UBC’s acting Dean of Health and Social Development, Gord Binsted, whose background is in human kinetics, decided the best way to learn what goes on in his faculty’s School of Nursing was to become a nursing student for a day of clinical learning at Kelowna General Hospital.
So that’s what Binsted did Tuesday, as Associate Professor of Nursing Wendy Andrews led second-year nursing students though their weekly clinical day at KGH. It is a regular part of the curriculum for the students – but an eye-opener for the dean.
He accompanied students on patient rounds, listened in on discussions about care plans, and asked plenty of questions from everybody around.
“I had no idea of how the students work in such a fast-paced environment, making crucial decisions about patient care all the time,” says Binsted. “What struck me most is how the students rely on their training and education in responding to changing situations. Secondly, I am truly impressed by the partnership between UBC’s School of Nursing and Interior Health. This relationship is crucial for UBC to succeed in educating our nurses.”
Binsted’s fish-out-of water experience began before 6:30 in the morning, when he donned blue scrubs and was briefed on the day’s activities by Andrews, and met the team of students with whom he would be working on Unit 4A.
The multidisciplinary 4A health-care team consists of nurses, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, dieticians, pharmacists, physicians, social workers, speech and respiratory therapists. It is a community of learning for nursing students, says Andrews.
“This supportive atmosphere helps UBC nursing students to excel in their knowledge and abilities relating to nursing practice. The opportunity for UBC nursing students to witness and learn from experienced team members is greatly appreciated and valued,” says Andrews.
Such relationships are integral to nursing student learning.
“Frequently, there is co-learning between UBC teachers and nursing students with 4A staff as they jointly share information to provide patient-centered, individualized care,” says Andrews. “The opportunity for our Acting Dean of Health to observe this partnership and have a greater understanding of the nurse educator role and the students’ experience in practice, will assist with our program planning as we strive to meet the challenges of health care in the future.”
Nurse manager Loyd Busby leads 4A, where Binsted joined students for clinical learning. “We find it a great opportunity for our staff to have this partnership with the students,” says Busby.
“After all, they are the nurses of tomorrow and we want to ensure that they have an opportunity to deal with real-life situations and become familiar with a hospital setting. Our nurses enjoy mentoring the students and sharing their knowledge and experience. This collaborative relationship enhances their professional skills and overall contributes to better nursing practices.”
Second-year nursing student Lauren Sugie, of Calgary, says clinical learning is a valuable part of her education.
“It’s really important to get this kind of opportunity,” she says. “It’s one thing learn from a textbook, but this is entirely different. You learn to interact with RNs, patients and other departments. I know I will be much more confident when I graduate because I have had this hands-on experience.”
Binsted says he now has a fuller appreciation for the nursing profession. “There is so much for nurses to know and do. Their work is complex and is an integral part of providing quality care in the health system. I am grateful for the dedication they have for their profession.”
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