Seasoned Nurse Educator
The interview was conducted face-to-face on a seasoned nurse educator who has had practical experience in educating patients for over ten years. The interview was conducted in a hospital setting when the nurse was taking his lunch break. To get the nurse’s experience and opinions about educating patients, communities and colleagues, the interview was conducted by asking open ended questions and recording the responses on a journal and through audio recording.
The following questions were asked and the nurse’s responses are summarized after each question:
Where did you receive your registered nurse education?
Response: I received my registered nurse education at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor more than 15 years ago. I also hold Masters in Nursing in Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner from the same University and I am hoping to start my doctorate degree in nursing practice.
What is your nurse educator’s academic area?
My main nurse educator’s academic area is primary care and I practice in managing acute and chronic illnesses. I also teach in the same area especially in conducting physical exams and diagnostic tests on patients presenting with acute symptom in a local nursing school. Other than teaching students, I teach patients and their families as well as nursing staff on primary care.
What nursing theory guides your work?
A nursing theory that guides my work as a nursing educator is Piaget’s theory of cognitive development that focuses on exploratory learning (Aliakbari, Parvin, Heidari & Haghani, 2015). While teaching my students, I encourage them to explore a new topic by giving them a case scenario to ask them to role play or discuss what they would do when presented with such a scenario. This enables them to become active learners and become problem solvers.
What teaching strategies do you use? What teaching methods would you use to stimulate a curious audience?
I use a variety of teaching strategies including lectures, high fidelity simulation, concept mapping, role playing and discussions. My favourite teaching strategies are role playing and concept mapping mainly because it encourages my learners to actively participate in learning by connecting new ideas with existing knowledge, arranging thoughts in a logical manner and acting out a problem to encourage emotional involvement. I also use role playing and concept mapping to stimulate a curious audience. Discussions are also necessary when handling a difficult concept or a sensitive topic. Any nurse educators would tell you that lectures are the most common teaching strategies.
How do you plan or prioritize your work?
I plan my work through time management skills whereby I go through my schedule and assign time for every activity. This works very well especially for my class sessions. However, with nursing practice, I have to do more than just time management as I have to set priorities by asking myself several question including what actions would be more important, what is the first thing to do, what is more important for the patient, and so on. I also have to remain calm in all situations.
Tell me about your most difficult teaching experience. How did you manage the difficulties?
One difficult teaching experience was when I was volunteering as a nurse educator in a medical school in Asia. The main challenge was managing a very large class with most learners not actively participating while others were being disruptive. To manage the challenge, I asked the learners to arrange themselves in groups after which I asked them to role play or concept map different scenarios. These teaching strategies can really help in getting the attention of all learners and getting them to participate in active learning (Young & Seibenhener, 2018).