Journal writing is a valuable tool for nursing students to reflect on their clinical experiences and develop new perspectives that can guide future practice. In this activity, students are encouraged to identify skills or concepts that were learned or reinforced during their clinical role transition experiences. This can include both tactile skills, such as suctioning or Foley insertion, as well as non-tactile skills such as giving reports, communicating with patients and families, dealing with conflict, and managing time.
When reflecting on the experiences encountered in clinical, students are asked to explore their feelings towards these experiences. This self-awareness and emotional reflection can provide valuable insights into the impact of these experiences on the student’s personal and professional growth. Additionally, students are encouraged to assess their strengths and areas in need of growth in relation to their performance in the clinical setting. This self-evaluation allows students to identify areas for improvement and set goals to enhance their nursing practice.
The transition to the role of a professional nurse is a significant milestone in a nursing student’s journey. In this activity, students are asked to reflect on how they feel they are transitioning to this role. This provides an opportunity for students to consider their readiness to take on the responsibilities and expectations of a professional nurse. They are also prompted to explore what factors are helping or hindering their transition. This could include support from colleagues and mentors, classroom learning, personal challenges, or external factors.
As part of the journal writing exercise, students are asked to choose one clinical situation that they encountered during their clinical experiences. They are then asked to describe this situation in their own words. This description allows students to carefully consider the details of the situation and provide context for the subsequent reflection.
One important aspect of nursing practice is the ability to prioritize care in complex situations. In this activity, students are asked to identify their top priority in the chosen clinical situation and explain why they chose it. This encourages critical thinking and decision-making skills, as students must consider the potential consequences and impact of their actions in prioritizing care.
Finally, students are asked to reflect on the takeaway learning lesson they gained from the chosen clinical situation. This can encompass any learning related to physical or psychosocial skills. This reflection helps students consolidate their learning and identify key lessons that can be applied to future practice.
In terms of the organization and presentation of the journal writing, students are expected to follow proper formatting guidelines. This includes double-spacing the content and ensuring proper sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling. Adhering to these guidelines facilitates clear and concise communication of ideas and enhances the overall readability of the journal entry.