My starting at the University of Portsmouth (BN nursing)

My academic learning to this point has all been classroom based didactic learning, throughout school/sixth form. Since starting at the University of Portsmouth (BN nursing) my approach to learning has developed through the requirements of my course, and the need to adapt my learning to gain the most from this course and be able to develop into a competent nurse with life long learning throughout my career. I have identified there are many different types of learning, mine strength being kinesthetic and auditory. (Vark a guide to learning styles, 2017) In this assignment i will comment on my personal and academic development during my first term at university.Learning needs and academic development:One of my learning concerns/difficulties relate to maths which I need to be competent in, in order to be able to make calculation of medical dosages (La Trobe, 2017) so that patients would receive the appropriate dose. In part I blame this on the fact that i haven’t done maths since GCSE which was three years ago and the thought of making a mistake which might affect someone’s well being is frightening. To overcome this learning difficulty I have bought a book to help and encourage me to improve and place the maths in context of nursing (Numeracy and clinical calculations for nurses) and so boost my confidence and competency. To date this learning has been self directed and i’ve struggled to fit it in around my other studies.APA referencing is new to me so i struggled to apply it. To overcome this obstacle I have gone on to the university of portsmouth library website and clicked on the reference tab where I have been able to practise APA style referencing. (University of Portsmouth, 2017) When i was at sixth form i never did APA only harvard, therefore i never learned APA. Referencing is important to get right as it is how credit is given to the source you used, (University of Tennessee, 2017) therefore if you don’t reference it, it could lead to plagiarism. It’s also a way of your reader being able to obtain the referenced sources.Contribution to group work:I have contributed to group work quite well, as I’m generally quite a sociable and friendly person and find the small group discussion suit my learning style. In our first week we were split into groups which will be our tutor groups for the 3 years we are student nurses. Whilst in our tutor groups we’ve had to do posters in little groups to demonstrate the 6 C’s (care, communication, competence, commitment, courage and compassion). We all have to contribute and present our work to the rest of the group. When we did our first care poster our organisational skills were poor and the communication between us was not great. Communication is one of the C’s and an essential skill in nursing as it helps build relationships and is therapeutic. (Nursing times, 2015). Over the 12 weeks we have been working together, we have steadily improved with better communication, teamwork and a more organised lay out that is clear and easy to understand.My teamwork, communication and organisational skills were again reflected upon and improved through the assessed presentation on health determinants in Blackpool and Wokingham. My communication skills in terms of presentation, on reflection, still need to be improved. Although i was able to present the information, i was very nervous which manifested in me speaking quickly and possibly losing some of the audience. This is a skill I need to improve if I am going to be able to communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals in the future. In order to overcome this i have looked at techniques to aid public speaking.On Tuesdays (practical days) we all go to simulation suite where we practise and demonstrate our skills we have learned. When we started i was very nervous as i’d had limited experience in healthcare, whereas some people have been working in health care for several years and i felt at a disadvantage. I didn’t feel confident in what i was doing, however over the weeks my skill set has improved together with my confidence. The kinesthetic nature of the simulation lab, again suits my learning style which has helped in my progression. At the end of the sessions they have a group discussion to establish discuss what went well and what could be improve, throughout these sessions i have provided my input to the group and lecturers. I have gained the confidence and courage to ask questions, even if I feel a bit daft, which is another important skill required in nursing.PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANThroughout the practical sessions it became more evident to me how much i gained from practical sessions due to the kinesthetic learning aspect of it. Evidence supports the importance of practise in developing a skill set which means i need to keep practising my examination skills (University of Vermont, 2014) To keep improving my skills and confidence further, my friends and I have booked the simulation suite out so we could practise our OSCEs. In my anatomy and physiology lectures where it is all listening, often through a TV screen with no interaction I find my learning is very limited. I’ve therefore needed to find other ways to help me with my anatomy and physiology.  One of the books being an anatomy and physiology colouring book which helps my kinesthetic aspect of learning as i’m doing something rather than just listening.   REFERENCE BOOKS (colouring)Conclusion:According to the (RCNI, 2015) we use the 6 C’s to help deliver excellent care. In my first term of university, there are a number of the 6Cs that I have started to develop; communication, competence, courage and commitment. Im obviously a long way from my end goal but i feel i have started the journey and my development plan provides me with a pathway for the future. Hopefully my development so far will allow me to go into placement with some confidence and allow me to progress onwards on my journey to becoming a nurse.