I since October 2017. In this essay,

I am studying Diploma in Higher Education AssistantPractitioner programme in Middlesex University since October 2017. In thisessay, I will analyse and assess the knowledge and skills I gained in moduleNIP 1013- Study Skills and Personal Development. The various features of modulehave helped me understand and improve my information and skills acquiredthrough 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 willinclude the action plan for my future development. According to the Nursing andMidwifery Council code of conduct (NMC 2015) confidentiality has beenmaintained throughout essay.

Writing is the important means of communication in workingenvironment especially in the health care industry. A job is invalid untilthere is no proof/written documentation either paper format or on the computerbecause in healthcare profession evidenced base is the best way of practice.Although I work the same way, the importance of academic writing is much betterthan my regular writing. I learnt in module 1013 that academic writing iscompletely different than other writing formats.

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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. Sothe writer should know who the readers or audience are and write in such a waythat readers can obtain the information. Thirdly, use of jargons,abbreviations, slang or local dialect is not permitted. After knowing the abovepurpose and importance of writing, my life becomes a lot easier. It has givenme clear indication why and what I must write in my documentation.

The use ofresearch, reference or evidence, thinking analytically and to judge the problembefore documentation is very important. This knowledge helped me to reflect onmy existing practice of writing. Especially, the use of jargons like Pt, PRN,OD, BD and BM.

 Now I am more confidentto document my patient’s progress on their progress notes. As I know what I am documentingand who the reader’s/audience are.   Numeracy demonstrates the range of complex calculationsnurses and other healthcare professionals are required to make on daily basisduring clinical interventions (Shihab P, 2014).  Numeracy and calculations in nursing areassociated with understanding nutrition information, interpreting blood sugar readings,other clinical data and administration of medicinal preparations. Beforecommencing Assistant Practitioner programme in my ward I use to follow thecharts like fluid balance, Diabetes monitoring chart, Medication chart and manymore. However, after studying numeracy in nursing I understood that what I waspracticing on ward was not correct. The importance of date and time, fractions,decimal and complete documentation and tally the chart is very crucial whendealing with patients. In this module I learned different numerical formulasand its uses in daily working environment.

I also understood responsibility andaccountability are both key concepts within the Support Worker’s role(Stonehouse D, 2014). I change my practice after gaining the information aboutimportance of numeracy in nursing. Also, I educated my colleagues about thesame. This skill has not only benefited me and my colleagues but also for theoverall improvement of client’s record on my ward. My ward manager appreciatedme for showing this initiative. Reflection is a part of reflective practice.

It enablesindividual to critically assess self, make judgement and to reflect on theirexisting practice. It is a way of adjusting to life as a qualified healthcareprofessional 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 thinkingwhile doing the action. However, Reflection-on-action means reflecting back tothe experiences and analysing it further to improve skills and enhance tofuture practice. There are many reflective models but I prefer Gibbs. Gibbsused six main stages to structure the process of reflection namely description,feeling, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan (Ugiagbe M, 19thOct 2017).

In November 2017, I returned to work after one week ofsickness and approach one of the deputy managers to fill in the return to workform. He asked me to approach another deputy manager to do this. Both of themavoided filling the form and at the end no one filled it.

Eventually I had toapproach manager to help me fill my return to work form. With his incident Ifelt not supported at workplace and felt upset. According to me both deputymanagers did not respond professionally. In case if they were busy at that timethey should have called me some other time or guided me. Also, I could havereported to the manager and make a formal complaint about the incident. Ilearnt from this experience, in future I will go straight to the manager ormake an official complaint.

Reflective practice helps to improve our own skillsfor future practices. There are various ways to reflect in practice can beapproached, however at times there are barriers in reflection like time, lackof peer support, motivation, culture of organisation and preconception that itis too difficult or not worth it.      Presentation is a part of learning and can be challengingat times. It is very crucial to know how to present effectively in order tomaintain the good rapport, especially communicating with patient, theirrelatives, colleagues, superiors and multi disciplinary team. Student who canspeak well in front of audience becomes a good communicator in the future. Effectivepresentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest causeof work related stress. Good presentation skills also reduce the stress onpresenter which means he/she will be more willing to present and more effectivewith their communication.

Also there are some barriers in effectivepresentation like background noise, culture, nervousness, use of phones, lackof concentration, use of big technical words or lengthy sentences and poorcontact with audience (McCandless, 2017). Although effective presentation isvaluable as it develop confidence in public speaking, encourage team work,enhance student IT skills, prepare students for employment, and developcommunication skills and gives deeper understanding of presenting topic(Lincoln C, 20th Oct 2017). In module NIP 1013, I learned theimportance of team work, sharing thoughts and ideas, do the research beforepresentation, use of library resources, classroom notes and LearningEnhancement Team help.

 Personal development plan (PDP) is a process of anindividual to reflect upon their own learning, performance, achievement and toplan for their personal, educational and career planning. It is also a way toassess your strength and weaknesses. PDP aims to improve the capacity ofindividuals to understand what and how they are learning and to review plan andtake responsibility for their learning. It provides structured way of workingwith 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. Forinstance, I want to become a Registered Nurse.

There are so many in the societywanted to be a Nurse but there ways to achieve this aim will be different. Thereis more than one way to look into the things. When building a PDP, individualshould know what he/she wants from career like be specific, aim should bemeasurable and achievable, be realistic and plan short term and long termgoals. PDP will open many opportunities in future. Always keep in mind toupdate PDP regularly as it has no limits and it does not come to an end(Lincoln, 2017).  Career planning is the continuous process of thinkingabout your values, interest, abilities, skills and preferences; exploring thelife, work and learning options available to you. It is an essential part ofpersonal growth and development (Donner & Wheeler, 2001). Planning for thefuture and setting a specific timeline for to achieve the goal, one can neverlose motivation along the way.

Career planning gives inspiration and it’s anopportunity to maximise the individual potential. It is very important to beaware about the opportunities like networking (local events, colleagues andinternet), local job market (healthcare database), shadowing, secondments andvolunteering, including union activist role (Ugiagbe, 2017). There are so manyopportunities in nursing career and I was unaware of those before starting thismodule (NIP1013). Also I can explore myself for help from different optionslike, internet healthcare website, Unihub, friends, my ward manager, mentor,nursing journals, etc. Now it is much easy for me to choose my interested fieldof nursing and plan my career accordingly.     In conclusion, knowledge and skills I obtained fromdifferent features of this module NIP 1013 – Study skills and personaldevelopment has helped me to change on my own practices.

A reflective practiceallows recognising individual’s strengths and weakness, and using this to guidefuture learning. Module has inspired and motivated me to develop my career tobecome a nurse in the future.  ACTION PLAN:Nursing is clearly a career with opportunities fordevelopment and allows person to continue their education as they progressthrough their career. In order to pursue in nursing, a career plan is anessential tool for professional development, job satisfaction and illustratescommitment to your discipline. To become a nurse, I need to plan my short termand long term goals. To achieve these goals, I must know my strengths,weakness, opportunities and threats. This will help me to achieve my goal inset period of time.

Within next three years, I would like to become aregistered nurse and start working in an established health institution.There are few steps before I can reach my goal to becomea registered nurse within next three years. At present, I am studying Diplomain higher education Assistant Practitioner programme.

This I need to achieve incoming two years. While studying this before the end of first year, I need toget qualify for final year Bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing. As anundergraduate, studying Assistant Practitioner programme, I would be able to studyand familiarize with numeracy, anatomy and physiology of human body, patientcare procedures and medical technology. Hence my short term goals are at the endof first year, get qualify for final year of BSc Nursing and successfully passthe Assistant Practitioner programme in two years. On third year, I can enrolfinal year of BSc Nursing and achieve degree education in nursing to become aregistered nurse.

To complete 2 years of Assistant Practitioner Programme andfinal year of BSc Nursing, I must familiarize myself with my strength,weakness, opportunities and threats to pass this programme successfully. Someof my strengths like honest, punctual, friendly, professional, hard worker,helpful, leadership qualities, respect, optimistic and good listener will help throughoutthis period. On the other hand, few of my weaknesses like short temperedness,impatient, poor communication skills and being emotional can be obstacles and Imust find ways or get help to overcome these factors so that I can reach mygoal within timeframe. Being a student I have many opportunities availablearound me who can help me to tackle with my issues and these are help fromteachers, 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 familyand friend support. During this path I might face some potential threats which canstop me to achieve or delay my target like illness, social circumstance (bereavement),changes to the NMC rules or UKBA regulations and financial threats. These benefitsand drawbacks will help to set my plan by reflecting my practices.

Periodic supervisionand appraisals will help in step by step achievement of set targets. Overall, I will gain a knowledge base and skill setneeded to transition to competence in clinical nursing practice and achieve mynursing degree. After this, I can make use of different opportunities availablefor placement to begin working as a Registered Staff Nurse. I think, withproper planning and reflective practising in hand, I will progress successfullyin nursing career.    


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