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Nursing Practicum Based on Gibbs’ Framework Essay

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Updated: Dec 14th, 2020


The present paper contains a reflection on a teaching practicum that is guided by Gibbs’ (1998) framework. The latter comprises six elements and is appropriate for nursing education (Bass, Fenwick, & Sidebotham, 2017; Patterson et al., 2016). Following the framework, the present work will describe a phenomenon, consider related feelings and thoughts, evaluate and analyse it, make a conclusion, and offer a plan of action (Gibbs, 1998). This model will be applied to the four key elements of the teaching experience.

Teaching Practicum Reflection – Preparation

The first element was the preparation for the session. The process started with the determination of the topic, objectives, and desired teaching and learning strategies. The discussed teaching session was devoted to the arterial blood gas (ABG) interpretation in order to satisfy the learning needs of my targeted audience: the new nurses of a critical care unit. ABG interpretation is one of the tasks that critical care nurses have to perform (Rogers & McCutcheon, 2015); however, they are often underprepared for it because the topic is often perceived as difficult (Burns, 2014). Also, the new nurses involved in the session indicated their interest in ABG, and the pre-session test demonstrated some gaps in their ABG knowledge.

Consequently, six objectives were identified, including the definition of the relevant terminology, the components of ABGs, and the normal values of the ABG analysis. Furthermore, the reviews of the issues of acidosis and alkalosis (with their types, causes, and outcomes), acid-base balance, and the systemic approach to interpreting ABG were included as objectives. All these topics are typical for sessions that consider ABG (Burns, 2014; Rogers & McCutcheon, 2015), and they were used to develop the lesson’s content as a result.

To ensure the effectiveness of the learning process, I chose the active learning (AL) approach, which can be used for nursing education (Costello, 2017; Huda, Ali, Nanji, & Cassum, 2016). AL has been evidenced to be more effective than the traditional, lecture-based methods (Bakon, Craft, Christensen, & Wirihana, 2016; Shin, Sok, Hyun, & Kim, 2014). Thus, this approach was chosen for its ability to enhance the learning of the target group given the significance of the content to be covered. The strategies that I incorporated included lecture, group discussions, brainstorming, and questions and answers. Most of them are typical AL activities (Huda et al., 2016); the lecture time was minimised and substituted with activities like brainstorming or questions and answers whenever possible. Because of the specifics of the content, the session could not avoid using lecture elements, but the employment of the AL elements helped to make the session learner-centred and engaging.

During this part of the experience, I read up on the topic, reviewed the teaching approaches that I could use, and brought them together. I worked on my own, but my learners’ contribution to the desired topic should be mentioned. I mostly felt optimistic and experienced a desire to learn and improve my teaching skills. Furthermore, I was thinking about the learners and the benefits that my work could have for them. Now, I believe that this learner-focused approach is important for AL (Huda et al., 2016), and it helped me to choose an appropriate topic and methods. In general, I evaluate the experience as challenging due to the large number of materials that I needed to review, but it was manageable.

In my analysis of the experience, I think that I did well when I selected AL since it fits my targeted audience. The topic and the content of the session were also well-chosen because of the decision to review the relevant literature. I believe that I could not further limit the lecture parts of my plan, even though I would like to allocate more time to the AL activities. I think that I could have improved the lesson by diversifying the exercises, but I am not sure that I would be able to fit them within the timeframe. Thus, I view this part of the experience as a success, and I will probably model my future activities similarly to ensure the relationship between the objectives, content, and teaching approaches.

Teaching Practicum Reflection – Teaching Plan

The teaching plan followed the three-element structure (set, body, and closure), and its development included the linking of the objectives to the session’s content, as well as the creation of the teaching materials, and the scheduling procedures (the allocation of time to different activities). Also, a review of the literature on the topic was incorporated into this stage, including the above-mentioned articles (Burns, 2014; Rogers & McCutcheon, 2015). During this part of the work, I was also rather optimistic, but I encountered more issues, which is why I was slightly less confident in my choices. I combated these feelings by reviewing relevant literature and discussing the problems with one of my peers. Overall, the process was complex, and my scheduling might have resulted in a mistake.

Indeed, the most difficult part of the teaching plan development was the allocation of time to the activities; I found that I wanted to include too many of them. I also needed to incorporate all the relevant information but in a way that would be engaging for the learners. In the end, I made sure to limit the lecturing periods and diversify the activities meant for the learners, which, in my view, was a successful decision. Apart from that, it was an appropriate decision from the perspective of AL; I made it mostly because of the guidance of the sources on AL that I had studied (Huda et al., 2016). I also managed to resolve the timing issue relatively well, but I think that I could allocate more time to the fifth objective section.

The mistake became visible during the implementation stage. I should point out that the teaching plan was executed almost to the letter. However, the practice also demonstrated one issue that I had anticipated during the development stage: the inefficient allocation of time. Time was generally a scarce resource, but the activities that were related to the fifth objective (the systemic approach to ABG interpretation) ended up receiving very little time. This problem prevented me from using a sufficient number of examples in the session, and by then, I had already spent time on other activities, which meant that I had to rush this section. Thus, I suppose that in future, I will pay additional attention to this aspect of planning, and my current plan will be adjusted to leave more time for the fifth objective specifically to avoid this outcome

In summary, the second step of the experience was slightly more difficult than the first one, and it appears to have resulted in a mistake. In general, however, I think that my actions were justified. I used the resources that I had to plan the employment of the teaching methods that I learned were appropriate. I might need more experience with the timing procedures, and I will see if I can find an approach to successful time allocation in future.

Teaching Practicum Reflection – Session

The session went as planned; I started it by explaining its objectives and running the pre-session test. Also, the set of the lesson included a scenario discussion which was meant to engage the learners and make them interested in the topic. The session proceeded with me presenting most of the key information on the terminology and ABG components, acidosis and alkalosis, acid-base balance, and ABG interpretation with the help of my PowerPoint presentation. In general, all the topics that are usually considered during such lessons were included (Burns, 2014; Rogers & McCutcheon, 2015). The learners were also regularly engaged with the help of questions and answers, brainstorming, and discussions, which is required for effective AL (Costello, 2017; Huda et al., 2016). Then, the session was closed: the learners prepared and shared a summary of the lesson to recap the information, I explained the future lesson’s topic, and the evaluation activities were performed. In particular, the learners completed the post-session test and filled out the exit tickets for additional feedback.

My audience included six new nurses from a critical care staff unit; they were rather active and chose to engage in brainstorming and discussions without much prompting. They also provided substantive, detailed feedback. Regarding the environmental concerns, which can affect the effectiveness of a session (Petersen, Jensen, Pedersen, & Rasmussen, 2015; Uzelac, Gligoric, & Krco, 2015), the lecture room (a college classroom) was generally fit for a lesson. In particular, it was well-ventilated, the lights in it could be controlled, and the space in it was sufficient for ten people, which is more than was required for my audience that included only six people. Thus, the classroom provided the environment necessary for the session; also, it contained the essential equipment, including the computer and projector with a wireless remote, as well as individual materials (worksheets and markers), and Blu Tacks. Internet access and electricity were supplied, but I also ensured the presence of backup materials for the case of issues with the mentioned resources. In the end, there were no resource shortages, and the equipment helped to enhance the learners’ experience; some of them commended its use.

An important technical issue that I encountered was the difficulty of making my voice heard. I felt that I needed to raise my voice and despite the fact that the classroom was not very large, I had to repeat myself a couple of times. I recognise that this problem could have prevented my learners from grasping crucial information. I think that a microphone could help, and I know that this equipment is available at my institution.

Based on this detailed description of the session, I would say that at this moment, I feel satisfied with most of its aspects. However, in the process, I felt a little nervous at the beginning and gradually became more confident. Overall, the session went well, and I think that this outcome is connected to the active participation of the nurses, as well as my thorough preparation. The presence of the necessary resources is also noteworthy. As I had mentioned, there were some issues with my voice, and the timing was not perfect, but my decisions related to the active learning techniques proved to be helpful both in engaging learners and helping me to resolve my initial nervousness. I think that in future, I will proceed to keep to the teaching plan when implementing my sessions, but I will also make some time-related changes depending on the nurses’ needs. Furthermore, I will try to find a microphone to ensure that the environmental conditions for the session are optimal.

Teaching Practicum Reflection – Educator and Learner Feedback

To evaluate the lesson, I used several tools, including a pre- and post-session test, an exit ticket, and my teacher’s feedback. All these approaches to evaluation are relatively well-established (Halbert, 2014; Marshall, 2018). I selected them for their ability to perform different functions. In particular, I wanted to have a relatively objective measure to determine the effect of my session, and I used the test to this end. Furthermore, I needed some subjective feedback from the learners to assess their thoughts and feelings related to the experience, and the exit tickets performed that function. Also, I wanted a professional to evaluate my work. Thus, the multiple approaches to evaluation were chosen.

The results were mostly positive, and my feelings with respect to this part of the session were and remain optimistic. If I were to evaluate this part of the experience, I would say that it went very well: I received meaningful feedback with notable suggestions for improvement. I would suggest that my learners and teachers did a very good job of pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of my work. Consequently, I am led to think that my choice of the methods of the evaluation was successful as well. Naturally, the methodology has its limitations; in particular, the learners may have provided incomplete or insincere feedback for a number of reasons, including the unwillingness to criticise another’s work. However, I made sure that the process was anonymous, which, in my view, should have prevented such negative outcomes. I think that I can improve this aspect of the work in future by stressing the idea that the learners should provide their honest opinion and that negative feedback is most helpful to another’s an improvement.

As for the content of the evaluation, my session has helped some of the participants to improve their knowledge, but two of them proceeded to make mistakes in the post-session test. Four of the learners reported confusion with respect to the different elements of the session’s content. Also, the learners supported the content of the lesson (especially the use of examples and case studies), clarity of presentation, and the employment of the PowerPoint, as well as the group activities. The issues that they noted included the quick discussion of the interpretation of ABG, which I mentioned above. The teacher’s feedback praised the planning and implementation of the session, including the teaching methods, content, and evaluation strategies. Furthermore, the teacher commended the employment of group activities and suggested using more of them.

Complete and diverse feedback makes me feel optimistic because it indicates my competence and suggests options for further improvement. Based on this information, I can assume that my activities and decisions were largely appropriate, which means that I should proceed to focus on the strong points emphasised by my learners and assessor, including diverse AL activities. However, I also should minimise confusion of my learners and attempt to engage them in AL to a greater extent. I think that this outcome can be achieved by encouraging questions, addressing the issues discovered through feedback, and including more AL activities that would help a student to improve their understanding of the topic.

In summary, the evaluation stage of my experience demonstrated my ability to choose appropriate evaluation techniques and yielded a lot of important information that can help me to improve my work. The feedback from my learners was a major contribution to my knowledge of the teaching process. My future action plan incorporates a focus on learners’ understanding and engagement and the acknowledgement of the effectiveness of the methods that I have employed.


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