Learning Determinants In Nursing Education and Role of Educator

Nurses Educator 2

Role of Educator in Learning In Nursing Education and Determinants

Learning Determinants In Nursing Education and Role of Educator

Whats are Determinants of Learning,Factors Affecting Learning,Role of Educator in Learning,Assessment of the Learner.

Whats are Determinants of Learning

    In a variety of settings, nurses are responsible for the education of patients, families, staff, and students. Numerous factors make the nurse educator's role particularly challenging in meeting the information needs of these various groups of learners. For example, short lengths of stay compress the amount of contact time the nurse has with patients and families, making it difficult to capitalize on teachable moments. 

    In the case of staff, educational and experiential levels differ widely and time constraints are ever present in the practice setting. Various staffing patterns, part time employment, and varied job functions can put the educator's ability to complete an accurate education assessment of staff to the test.Also, the nurse educator must consider many other factors in meeting information needs of learners. 

    For example, the US population is becoming more culturally and linguistically diverse because of the increased number of foreign-born individuals entering the country in recent years. Notably, the percentage of baccalaureate nursing students from minority backgrounds rose from 25.2% in 2006 to 31.6% in 2015 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2016). In addition, the nation's population 65 and older is growing rapidly. As for age, students are entering schools of nursing at an older age, bringing with them diverse life experiences and the demands of working and raising families while furthering their education. 

    These factors all affect the nursing educator's assessment of information needs of nursing students, patients, and families (US Census Bureau, 2012, 2015). Other changing healthcare trends and population demographics mean that nurse educators must constantly assess the determinants of learning for the varied audiences of learners they teach.

Factors Affecting Learning

To meet these challenges, the nurse educator must be aware of the various factors that influence how well an individual learns. The three determinants of learning that require assessment are:

(a) the preferred needs of the learner

(b) the state of readiness to learn

(c) the learning styles for processing information. 

Role of Educator in Learning

    The role of educating others is one of the most essential interventions that a nurse performs. To do it well, the nurse must both identify the information learners need and consider their readiness to learn and their styles of learning. The learner not the teacher is the single most important person in the educational process.Educators can greatly enhance learning when they serve as facilitators helping the learner become aware of what needs to be known, why knowing is valuable, and how to be actively involved in acquiring information (Musinski, 1999; Sykes, Durham, & Kingston, 2013) . 

    Just providing information to the learner, however, does not ensure that learning will occur. There is no guarantee that the learner will acquire the information given, although there is a greater opportunity to learn if the educator assesses the determinants of learning.

    Assessment permits the nurse educator to facilitate the process of learning by arranging experiences within the environment that assist the learner to find the purpose, the will, and the most suitable approaches for learning. An assessment of the three determinants of learning enables the educator to identify information and present it in a variety of ways, which a learner cannot do alone. Manipulating the environment allows learners to experience meaningful parts and wholes to reach their individual potentials,

The educator plays a crucial role in the learning process by doing the following:

    Assessing problems or deficits and learners' abilities Providing important best evidence information and presenting it in unique and appropriate ways Identifying progress being made Giving feedback and follow-up Reinforcing learning in the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, and attitudes Determining the effectiveness of education provided

    The educator is vital in giving support, encouragement, and direction during the process of learning. Learners may make choices on their own without the assistance of an educator, but these choices may be limited or inappropriate. For example, the nurse facilitates necessary changes in the home environment, such as minimizing distractions by having family members turn off the television to provide a quiet environment conducive for concentrating on a learning activity. 

    The educator assists in identifying optimal learning approaches and activities that can both support and challenge the learner based on his or her individual learning needs, readiness to learn, and learning style.

 Assessment of the Learner

    Assessment of learners' needs, readiness, and styles of learning is the first and most important step in instructional design but it is also the step most likely to be neglected. The importance of assessment of the learner may seem self-evident, yet often only lip service is given to this initial phase of the educational process. Frequently, the nurse dives into teaching before addressing all the determinants of learning. The result is that information given to the patient is neither individualized nor based on an adequate educational assessment. 

    Evidence suggests, however, that individualizing teaching based on prior assessment improves patient outcomes (Corbett, 2003; Frank-Bader, Beltran, & Dojlidko , 2011; Kim et al., 2004; Miaskowski et al., 2004) and satisfaction (Bakas et al., 2009; Wagner, Bear, & Davidson, 2011). For example, Corbett's (2003) research demonstrates that providing individualized education to home care patients with diabetes significantly improves their foot care practices.

    Nurses are taught that any nursing intervention should be preceded by an assessment. Few would deny that this is the correct approach, no matter whether planning for giving direct physical care, meeting the psychosocial needs of a patient, or teaching someone to be independent in self-care or in the delivery of care. The effectiveness of nursing care clearly depends on the scope, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of assessment prior to interventions.

    What makes assessment so significant and fundamental to the educational process? This initial step in the process validates the need for learning and the approaches to be used in designing learning experiences. Patients who desire or require information to maintain optimal health as well as nursing colleagues who must have a greater scope or depth of knowledge to deliver high-quality care to patients deserve to have an assessment done by the educator so that their needs as learners are appropriately addressed.

    Assessments do more than simply identify and prioritize information for the purposes of setting behavioral goals and objectives, planning instructional interventions, and being able to evaluate in the long run whether the learner has achieved the desired goals and objectives. Good assessments ensure that optimal learning can occur with the least amount of stress and anxiety for the learner. 

    Assessment prevents needless repetition of known material, saves time and energy on the part of both the learner and the educator, and helps to establish positive communication between the two parties (Haggard, 1989). Furthermore, it increases the motivation to learn by focusing on what the patient or staff member feels is most important to know or to be able to do.

    Why, then, is this first step in the education process so often overlooked or only partially carried out? Lack of time is the number one reason that nursing educators shortchange the assessment phase (Haddad, 2003; Lee & Lee, 2013; Marcum, Ridenour, Shaff, Hammons, & Taylor, 2002). 

    Such factors as shortened hospital stays and limited contact with patients and families in other healthcare settings, combined with the tighter schedules of nursing staff as a result of increased practice demands, have reduced the amount of time available for instruction. 

    Because time constraints are a major concern when carrying out patient or staff education, nurses must become skilled in accurately conducting assessments of the three determinants of learning in order to have reserve time for actual teaching in addition, many nurses, although expected and required by them nursing practice acts to instruct others who are unfamiliar with the principles of teaching and learning. 

    The nurse in the role of educator must become better acquainted and comfortable with all the elements of instructional design, particularly with the assessment phase because it serves as the foundation for the rest of the educational process. Assessment of the learner includes attending to the three determinants of learning (Haggard, 1989):

1.     1.Learning needs what the learner needs and wants to learn.

2.    2.Readiness to learn-when the learner is receptive to learning.

3.    3. Learning style-how the learner best learns.

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