I writer should know who the readers or audience

I am studying Diploma in Higher Education Assistant
Practitioner programme in Middlesex University since October 2017. In this
essay, I will analyse and assess the knowledge and skills I gained in module
NIP 1013- Study Skills and Personal Development. The various features of module
have helped me understand and improve my information and skills acquired
through experience and education. I will critique my knowledge, skills,
qualities and experience in this essay with writing, numeracy, reflection,
presentation, personal development plan and career planning. Also I will
include the action plan for my future development. According to the Nursing and
Midwifery Council code of conduct (NMC 2015) confidentiality has been
maintained throughout essay.

Writing is the important means of communication in working
environment especially in the health care industry. A job is invalid until
there is no proof/written documentation either paper format or on the computer
because in healthcare profession evidenced base is the best way of practice.
Although I work the same way, the importance of academic writing is much better
than my regular writing. I learnt in module 1013 that academic writing is
completely different than other writing formats. It based on research,
analysis, critical thinking and evidence (Cottrell S, 2011). First of all,
documentation should be based on actual facts and not on assumptions. Secondly,
writer acts as a third person who is not writing for self but for readers. So
the writer should know who the readers or audience are and write in such a way
that readers can obtain the information. Thirdly, use of jargons,
abbreviations, slang or local dialect is not permitted. After knowing the above
purpose and importance of writing, my life becomes a lot easier. It has given
me clear indication why and what I must write in my documentation. The use of
research, reference or evidence, thinking analytically and to judge the problem
before documentation is very important. This knowledge helped me to reflect on
my existing practice of writing. Especially, the use of jargons like Pt, PRN,
OD, BD and BM.  Now I am more confident
to document my patient’s progress on their progress notes. As I know what I am documenting
and who the reader’s/audience are.   

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Numeracy demonstrates the range of complex calculations
nurses and other healthcare professionals are required to make on daily basis
during clinical interventions (Shihab P, 2014).  Numeracy and calculations in nursing are
associated with understanding nutrition information, interpreting blood sugar readings,
other clinical data and administration of medicinal preparations. Before
commencing Assistant Practitioner programme in my ward I use to follow the
charts like fluid balance, Diabetes monitoring chart, Medication chart and many
more. However, after studying numeracy in nursing I understood that what I was
practicing on ward was not correct. The importance of date and time, fractions,
decimal and complete documentation and tally the chart is very crucial when
dealing with patients. In this module I learned different numerical formulas
and its uses in daily working environment. I also understood responsibility and
accountability are both key concepts within the Support Worker’s role
(Stonehouse D, 2014). I change my practice after gaining the information about
importance of numeracy in nursing. Also, I educated my colleagues about the
same. This skill has not only benefited me and my colleagues but also for the
overall improvement of client’s record on my ward. My ward manager appreciated
me for showing this initiative.

Reflection is a part of reflective practice. It enables
individual to critically assess self, make judgement and to reflect on their
existing practice. It is a way of adjusting to life as a qualified healthcare
professional and enhancing the development of a professional identity (Atwal
& Jones, 2009). Reflections are of two types ‘Reflection in action’ and
‘Reflection on action’ (Schon, 1987). Reflection-in-action is means thinking
while doing the action. However, Reflection-on-action means reflecting back to
the experiences and analysing it further to improve skills and enhance to
future practice. There are many reflective models but I prefer Gibbs. Gibbs
used six main stages to structure the process of reflection namely description,
feeling, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan (Ugiagbe M, 19th
Oct 2017).

In November 2017, I returned to work after one week of
sickness and approach one of the deputy managers to fill in the return to work
form. He asked me to approach another deputy manager to do this. Both of them
avoided filling the form and at the end no one filled it. Eventually I had to
approach manager to help me fill my return to work form. With his incident I
felt not supported at workplace and felt upset. According to me both deputy
managers did not respond professionally. In case if they were busy at that time
they should have called me some other time or guided me. Also, I could have
reported to the manager and make a formal complaint about the incident. I
learnt from this experience, in future I will go straight to the manager or
make an official complaint. Reflective practice helps to improve our own skills
for future practices. There are various ways to reflect in practice can be
approached, however at times there are barriers in reflection like time, lack
of peer support, motivation, culture of organisation and preconception that it
is too difficult or not worth it.      

Presentation is a part of learning and can be challenging
at times. It is very crucial to know how to present effectively in order to
maintain the good rapport, especially communicating with patient, their
relatives, colleagues, superiors and multi disciplinary team. Student who can
speak well in front of audience becomes a good communicator in the future. Effective
presentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest cause
of work related stress. Good presentation skills also reduce the stress on
presenter which means he/she will be more willing to present and more effective
with their communication. Also there are some barriers in effective
presentation like background noise, culture, nervousness, use of phones, lack
of concentration, use of big technical words or lengthy sentences and poor
contact with audience (McCandless, 2017). Although effective presentation is
valuable as it develop confidence in public speaking, encourage team work,
enhance student IT skills, prepare students for employment, and develop
communication skills and gives deeper understanding of presenting topic
(Lincoln C, 20th Oct 2017). In module NIP 1013, I learned the
importance of team work, sharing thoughts and ideas, do the research before
presentation, use of library resources, classroom notes and Learning
Enhancement Team help.  

Personal development plan (PDP) is a process of an
individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance, achievement and to
plan for their personal, educational and career planning. It is also a way to
assess your strength and weaknesses. PDP aims to improve the capacity of
individuals to understand what and how they are learning and to review plan and
take responsibility for their learning. It provides structured way of working
with others such as colleague, mentor and supervisor. Each PDP will be unique.
Another person may have same aim but how you achieve it will be different. For
instance, I want to become a Registered Nurse. There are so many in the society
wanted to be a Nurse but there ways to achieve this aim will be different. There
is more than one way to look into the things. When building a PDP, individual
should know what he/she wants from career like be specific, aim should be
measurable and achievable, be realistic and plan short term and long term
goals. PDP will open many opportunities in future. Always keep in mind to
update PDP regularly as it has no limits and it does not come to an end
(Lincoln, 2017).  

Career planning is the continuous process of thinking
about your values, interest, abilities, skills and preferences; exploring the
life, work and learning options available to you. It is an essential part of
personal growth and development (Donner & Wheeler, 2001). Planning for the
future and setting a specific timeline for to achieve the goal, one can never
lose motivation along the way. Career planning gives inspiration and it’s an
opportunity to maximise the individual potential. It is very important to be
aware about the opportunities like networking (local events, colleagues and
internet), local job market (healthcare database), shadowing, secondments and
volunteering, including union activist role (Ugiagbe, 2017). There are so many
opportunities in nursing career and I was unaware of those before starting this
module (NIP1013). Also I can explore myself for help from different options
like, internet healthcare website, Unihub, friends, my ward manager, mentor,
nursing journals, etc. Now it is much easy for me to choose my interested field
of nursing and plan my career accordingly. 

In conclusion, knowledge and skills I obtained from
different features of this module NIP 1013 – Study skills and personal
development has helped me to change on my own practices. A reflective practice
allows recognising individual’s strengths and weakness, and using this to guide
future learning. Module has inspired and motivated me to develop my career to
become a nurse in the future.  


Nursing is clearly a career with opportunities for
development and allows person to continue their education as they progress
through their career. In order to pursue in nursing, a career plan is an
essential tool for professional development, job satisfaction and illustrates
commitment to your discipline. To become a nurse, I need to plan my short term
and long term goals. To achieve these goals, I must know my strengths,
weakness, opportunities and threats. This will help me to achieve my goal in
set period of time. Within next three years, I would like to become a
registered nurse and start working in an established health institution.

There are few steps before I can reach my goal to become
a registered nurse within next three years. At present, I am studying Diploma
in higher education Assistant Practitioner programme. This I need to achieve in
coming two years. While studying this before the end of first year, I need to
get qualify for final year Bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing. As an
undergraduate, studying Assistant Practitioner programme, I would be able to study
and familiarize with numeracy, anatomy and physiology of human body, patient
care procedures and medical technology. Hence my short term goals are at the end
of first year, get qualify for final year of BSc Nursing and successfully pass
the Assistant Practitioner programme in two years. On third year, I can enrol
final year of BSc Nursing and achieve degree education in nursing to become a
registered nurse.

To complete 2 years of Assistant Practitioner Programme and
final year of BSc Nursing, I must familiarize myself with my strength,
weakness, opportunities and threats to pass this programme successfully. Some
of my strengths like honest, punctual, friendly, professional, hard worker,
helpful, leadership qualities, respect, optimistic and good listener will help throughout
this period. On the other hand, few of my weaknesses like short temperedness,
impatient, poor communication skills and being emotional can be obstacles and I
must find ways or get help to overcome these factors so that I can reach my
goal within timeframe. Being a student I have many opportunities available
around me who can help me to tackle with my issues and these are help from
teachers, programme lead, Learning and Enhancement Team, UNIHUB, Librarian,
Colleagues, experience of previous students, Mentor, Manager, Supervisors,
access to healthcare database, different healthcare related websites and family
and friend support. During this path I might face some potential threats which can
stop me to achieve or delay my target like illness, social circumstance (bereavement),
changes to the NMC rules or UKBA regulations and financial threats. These benefits
and drawbacks will help to set my plan by reflecting my practices. Periodic supervision
and appraisals will help in step by step achievement of set targets.

Overall, I will gain a knowledge base and skill set
needed to transition to competence in clinical nursing practice and achieve my
nursing degree. After this, I can make use of different opportunities available
for placement to begin working as a Registered Staff Nurse. I think, with
proper planning and reflective practising in hand, I will progress successfully
in nursing career.   



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