Nurses: the importance of hands-on training

20170112150000, Azzida Dzaher
Nurses: the importance of hands-on training
Ever since they were nursing students, nurses have been exposed to and taught through hands-on training. From simple procedures of nursing cares such as positioning, feeding, transferring patients up to more intricate procedures such as stoma care, administering drugs and providing pre- and post-op care, all of these nursing procedures involve hands-on training to various extents. Hence, hands-on training is the best method for nurses to keep improving their skills.

Simulation technology mimics the working environment of nurses

Nursing students have been exposed to hands-on training tools, such as simulation technology. Simulation is defined as “the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.” This is used in nursing to help nurses and nursing students get a clear idea of their actual working environment. There is no common simulation framework. However, most simulations follow a similar design of preparation learning, the actual simulation, and then a debriefing where the faculty provides feedback for the nurses.

Another hands-on training tool is the medical training patient mannequin. Usually, each nursing faculty will have access to nursing skill labs that are fully equipped with these mannequins. Even though they might not get the chance to perform these critical procedures in the clinical setting, by using the mannequins, nurses can still get an experience as close to real life as possible. Such experience will allow them to be prepared if a similar situation occurs in their work.

Honing their clinical skills through hands-on training

Subsequently, hands-on training is imperative in honing a nurse’s clinical skills and practices. A nurse who finds it hard to perform invasive procedures, such as intubation, can practice and revise on them during training sessions held by the department. This is necessary because nurses are usually not given the opportunity to learn when working, due to the tasks that they have on-hand. This is especially so when they are asked to work in the emergency or critical care unit, where the work environment is chaotic and busy. Therefore, it is crucial that they make full use of the training sessions that they are given.

Additionally, nursing students should make an effort to go to the nursing skill lab. This is so that they can improve on the necessary skills that they are weak in. When in doubt, they can consult their colleagues or instructors. Nurses can also ask them if they can be present during their training sessions. This will be useful since they can identify the mistakes that the nurse might not notice and help the nurse improve.

Following clinical guidelines to reduce making mistakes

Usually, hands-on nursing procedures come together with standardised clinical guidelines. These are prepared by nursing lecturers or clinical instructors, which students can use to help facilitate their studies. It also creates less room for potential mistakes, as the guidelines come with concise notes and the complete details of procedures. Hence, they can keep the notes for future revision and consult these notes if they are in doubt.

Hands-on training is vital for learning clinical skills in nursing. Instead of merely watching or studying the clinical learning skills, hands-on training provides nurses with genuine training as they can physically work on the tasks, enabling them to retain the steps of the procedure better. As nurses take online courses to increase their knowledge about nursing practices, they should also hone their skills through hands-on practice. Only then can they internalise the new knowledge and enhance their competency level, becoming better nurses and providing better care for their patients. MIMS

Read more:
3 virtual learning resources for nurses
Nurses: Staying optimistic in your work
Nurses: 3 reasons to improve your interpersonal skills
Interdisciplinary training: The benefits of training medical students with other healthcare professionals

Sources:
http://www.chattahoocheetech.edu/2016/08/simulation-training- provides-hands-on-experience-for-ctc-nursing-students/
http://med.stanford.edu/VAsimulator/medsim.html
http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-18-2013/No2-May-2013/Simulation-in-Nursing-Practice.html