Reflection on Study Skills

1 January 2017

This paper will reflect on my study skills. I will use a reflective model to discuss this, I have chosen Gibbs model of reflection, and this model includes the following: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, action plan and conclusion. (Gibbs 1988) The first stage of Gibbs (1988) model of reflection requires a description of events. We were asked to do three things designed to test our study skills, Information technology, Literacy and Numeracy.

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For Information technology I downloaded a paper from the journal of community nursing online, the subject was falls and the elderly; I chose this because I have worked in the community as a District nurse auxiliary and have a particular interest in promoting health for the elderly. Having downloaded this paper I had to write a precis of the paper in 300 words and e-mail as an attachment to our facilitator, testing our Information technology and literacy skills. To test our numerical skills, we had to complete an online test.

I am now going to enter into the 2nd stage of Gibbs (1988) model of reflection which is about my feelings. Coming to university as a mature student is challenging, the reason I have come is to improve my prospects, despite my life experiences from work and home I do now feel unsure of what is expected of me in this unfamiliar environment. I haven’t studied for many years and now I have to learn many new skills how to keep to deadlines, access resources and take responsibility for my own learning.

There are many areas of my study skills that I feel I need to strengthen: Listening skills as I often find in lectures that I switch off after a while! Oral presentations, I feel under confident when presenting my work in front of my group. Numeracy, this has always been my weakest subject ever since a child and I worry because numeracy is so important in nursing, the consequences of getting a calculation wrong could be life-threatening. Lastly managing my time is going to be a vital study skill that I need to improve on because as well as studying and placements I also have to run a home.

Evaluation is the 3rd stage of Gibbs (1988) model of reflection and requires the reflector to state what was good and bad about the event. I enjoyed downloading a paper on the internet and writing a precis as I found the paper interesting, however I found e-mailing the precis as an attachment hard because I had to send the precis twice as the first attempt was unsuccessful this was because it was sent by Microsoft Works which doesn’t open attachments, I rectified this by converting to Microsoft Word and talking to my facilitator.

The numerical test was tolerable, I find fractions and percentages hard, however before doing the test I went onto the BBC skillswise website and refreshed my numerical skills. Stage four of Gibbs (1988) model is an analysis of the event, where the reflector is encouraged to make sense of the situation. I will do this by exploring my understanding of Information technology, literacy and numerical skills at this stage. As I said before numeracy is important in nursing as the consequences of getting a calculation wrong could be fatal.

There are many types of calculations I will encounter over the next three years e. g. drug administration, drip rates and blood pressure, it is therefore vital I come to terms with them now whilst I am a student, because when I qualify numeracy is an issue of accountability and I shall be accountable for my own practice (NMC Code of Conduct 2004). Literacy is an essential skill that defines professional nursing Bysshe (2006) states “The clear, precise, logical and appropriate expression of ideas, opinions and values in nursing is required for provision of quality care to patients and families”.

At this point in my education, having proper literacy skills is crucial to my academic success. Information technology skills are important, if used properly I. T has the potential to transform nursing practice and patient care (McCannon 2000) As students we can learn so much from the internet, every subject is at our fingertips. It is vital we learn now as who knows where we will be in terms of I. T when we qualify. The public now have an increased knowledge in their health due to the internet, so its vital nurses stay up to date.

Nursing is greatly affected by I. T, computers at bedsides in many hospitals; much of charting is now done electronically. If we do not stay current in all these skills, then we will not be nursing effectively enough. My action plan for the future is: listening skills- to be attentive, focus on what is being said, take good written notes. If I do not understand, not to drift off listen more carefully and don’t be afraid of asking questions.

Oral presentations- I need to be prepared by researching my subject and practise until I feel comfortable, not to be shy, maintain eye contact and remember we are all in the same situation. Numeracy- I shall make time to study numeracy by using web resources e. g. learn direct and BBC skillswise. Managing my time- As far as my academic work is concerned I will try to prioritise tasks. Set aside a time and place in the home for working. Ask my facilitator for help if needed and use the student support service.

In conclusion, stage 5 of the Gibbs (1988) model; I am aware that I do have study skills that need refreshing. As part of my action plan I have highlighted areas that I would like to develop in the future mainly numerical skills. My reflection skills have developed through this essay, I used Gibbs (1988) model of reflection because the stages of reflection are clear and helped me to structure my work. As a student nurse I have recognised that reflection is an important learning tool.

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