I believe that an individual can make changes to their lives, and their future, by way of Education. In this world, items or material things come and go, but the knowledge in your mind is powerful and cannot be taken away. As a student in a foreign country, I know the feeling of not belonging or feeling not seen or heard.
When facilitating labs or clinical, I aim to let each student know that they are “my humans,” and I am here to support them in academic and non-academic needs. My students are told and feel like they are an extension of my family. During my initial meeting with my students, I ensure that we all participate in an icebreaker. I will write 2-3 options and get a vote on which icebreaker to use. This helps to make the students feel calmer or less nervous.
Students are both excited and nervous about putting their theory into practice. They are scared of making a mistake, or sometimes they feel unprepared to perform complex skills like tracheostomy suctioning. When performing sterile skills, understanding a no-touch technique cannot be apparent. I realized how puzzling this was for students. To explain further, the skill of inserting a catheter or performing a tracheostomy suctioning requires one hand to be sterile, while the other hand is non-sterile, but both hands are in sterile gloves.
I then came up with the idea to highlight the student’s non-sterile hand by purchasing red frown-faced stickers. Once the students put their sterile gloves on their hands, I will walk to each student and ask,” Which is your sterile/clean hand? Once a student raises the identified
hand, I will place a sticker on top so that each student can visualize their non-sterile hands for the skills.
I also share the story of my time and experience as a nursing student and a newly hired nurse and how scared I was at my first nursing job. But with continuous practice and guidance from my colleagues, I grew confident in my nursing abilities. My way of teaching skills is to demonstrate the skill correctly to the students showing “I DO.” Some skills we perform are a” WE DO” concept, for example, setting up an IV bag. It is when all the students stand in a big circle, and we do the skill together. When teaching labs, I arrive 30 minutes before the start of my labs to write important notes and steps on the whiteboard, including the page number for my students to use as a guide or reference.
My general philosophy is to treat each student based on their individual needs. My most important plan for each lab or clinical is to have learning materials and topics guideline. Each student is at a different level or may understand concepts differently, so I take the time to know each student. I share my country and culture with them, prompting the students to share theirs with me.