5 TIPS WHEN THE SEMESTER FEELS LIKE A CATASTROPHE
HOW TO ABOLISH DOUBT AND INSPIRE COURAGE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR STUDENTS
By Christine Heid, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSEWhether you’ve been teaching a class in person or online, you probably have felt overwhelmed at some point during this semester. Students may have voiced their own fears, along with worries about being successful (and not getting sick).
The thing is, you CAN do this! These tips can help not only you but your students and peers. Share them as needed to encourage anyone who needs a boost.
1. Trust your trainingDuring these difficult times, it’s easy to listen to doubts in your mind and forget all you’ve learned and are capable of handling. Lean in to your knowledge, experience, and abilities. They will serve you well — not only now but throughout your career.
2. You are never alone.Healthcare has always been a team sport, now more than ever. Collaboration is key to achieving positive patient outcomes. Teamwork is built upon effective communication, mutual respect, and trust. We grow and accomplish incredible things in a culture of camaraderie. Remember that you are an integral component of something so much bigger.
3. Fear is just a 4-letter word.Respect it, but don’t let it cripple you. Talk to colleagues about your concerns and look for ways to deal with the emotions you may be experiencing. Find ways to foster resilience and recognize when you need a break. Then take that break and help someone else do the same.
4. Knowledge is power. Time to level up!Don’t rely on others to keep you informed. You are a lifelong learner! Dig into resources and podcasts, blogs, articles, and webinars to help keep you informed of the latest practices. Remember: No one else can be responsible for your practice except for you.
5. When in doubt, spend time with clients.This advice may seem obvious, but sometimes we get caught up in the act of teaching or practicing nursing and forget who is at the center of care: the client.
Especially during this time when visitors are limited, clients rely on nurses to provide the comfort they need. As a nurse and educator with so many tasks and demands pulling us in a thousand directions, it sometimes helps to focus on 1 person or task at a time. I’ve often found solace in being able to achieve 1 thing at a time, making the impossible surprisingly possible.
Author: Christine Heid, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE, is a Nurse Educator for Consultation Services at ATI Nursing Education. Dr. Heid holds a doctor of philosophy in nursing, a master’s degree in nursing and healthcare education, and is a Certified Nurse Educator. She was a 2017 invited participant in the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation Learning (INACSL – CAE Healthcare) Fellowship program. Her past faculty appointments have provided her with knowledge of traditional practical, associate, and baccalaureate nursing education in both the public and private sector.
Dr. Heid has served as an advisory committee member on the ANA Workplace Violence and Incivility Professional Issues Panel, which focused on developing a position statement that applies to all settings where nurses work. As chairperson of the Ohio Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OOADN), she engaged with leaders to help nurses further their education through seamless progression and academic partnerships. As a researcher, she has investigated online and technology-mediated teaching/learning across the curriculum, developed strategies to enhance theory-practice integration, created clinical tools for teaching and acquiring clinical judgment, and identified motivational predictors of persistence behaviors.
Her peers have recognized Dr. Heid as an innovative educator who finds creative ways to utilize technology and immersive strategies to create meaningful learning for students. She enjoys working with colleagues of all levels of experience and supporting expert clinicians as they transition to the role of nurse educator. She admits that her greatest lessons have emerged from her biggest mistakes. Dr. Heid has implemented a variety of innovative teaching-learning strategies in classroom, simulation lab, and clinical settings, many of which led to better student preparation, helped foster clinical judgment, and improved student confidence. She is passionate about nursing education and loves the opportunity to share ideas, promote active learning strategies, and nurture "out of the box" thinking to enhance student and faculty success.
Contact her at [email protected].
How are you dealing with the pandemic? Share your feelings in the comments below.