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Personal skills, University

Work smarter not harder by understanding your learning style

Most student nurses fall into one of two camps….

Either you dread the academic work & feel more comfortable on clinical placement using practical skills. Or you’re terrified of the wards and prefer learning new things through reading & theory work.

There is no right or wrong way to be, but one of the best things you can do now (if you haven’t already), is to find out what type of learner you are & which method is best for you to learn new skills.

You can find out what your learning style is through the free VAK learning style questionnaire at https://www.hfe.co.uk/learning-styles-questionnaire/

Once you know this, you can adapt any subject you may find difficult into the learning style which works best for you. I’m more of a visual learner so I know if I’m struggling to grasp a new skill, like taking a manual blood pressure reading, then I ask someone to show me again or to explain again in more detail so it sticks.

There is nothing more disheartening than spending hours listening to lectures on pathophysiology & not being able to recall half of it when someone asks you a question.

 Your learning will happen in many different forms over the course of your degree as well, not just in lectures or clinical placement. There are numerous podcasts, YouTube channels, reality TV shows which can all contribute a lot to your training. As a visual learner I found watching these TV shows & YouTube video explanations of different procedures really helped my learning & also with remembering what I had learnt!

Other forms of learning may be from talking with your mentors about patients, or discussing different conditions & case studies with other people on your course, or even from blogs or Facebook groups & posts about student nursing.

This will also develop your reflective practice which is an essential skill for nursing.

Most universities teach reflection including different theories & models at the beginning of the nursing degree, & recommend students keep a reflective journal as part of this module. You can use any old notebook as a diary to record events from university or placement which you felt contributed to your learning in some way.

The Student Nurse Guide Reflection Journal was designed specifically for nursing students to improve their reflection skills.

Each page includes space to record the date, location, key learning point to help you quickly recall & find the subject, & read around to help develop your knowledge of key nursing skills as a result of your reflection. A reflective writing outline is also included on every reflective account page to help guide your writing & keep you on track.

It also includes a real example of a student nurse’s reflective account to draw from if you get stuck. Featuring a modern contemporary design in A5 size, it is easy to keep at hand ready to record any learning opportunity as it happens, with approx 180 lined pages. This notebook is a perfect way of keeping all your reflective accounts in one place throughout your degree.

Connect with The Student Nurse Guide & let me know what you would like to see more of? What questions do you have that you are too afraid to ask? Send us a message or comment below with what you want to know.

For more help & support please subscribe to The Student Nurse Guide.

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