Nurses need to have good social skills to work with patients and doctors. One of the best ways to develop this skill is by creating group learning activities for students. Students can learn how to interact with people as well as learn the nursing skills essential to passing a course.
Quizzes are a good learning activity for all ages. For a nursing student, it can test her grasp of a concept in a fun and engaging way. The University of Michigan School of Nursing suggests teachers use a quiz as a module review exercise. Create an interactive PowerPoint quiz involving images, video and sound. Split the class into groups of three and sit the first group at the front of the class. With the rest watching, ask the three students a question and the first one to answer correctly wins a point. Ask the first group five questions and then move on to the second group. Continue asking each group questions until everyone has participated. The final round has the highest scorer from each group competing in one final round.
Nurses are often the first to hear a patient's symptoms. They must use their knowledge to diagnose an illness so that a doctor can quickly assess the correct treatment. A good group learning activity is for one student to role-play as a patient and the other students to try and diagnose the illness. The patient writes down on a card what his illness is and some of the symptoms, keeping the card hidden from the other students playing. The rest of the students take turns to ask the patient questions to find out the symptoms. Then the group brainstorms and comes up with the answer when everyone's asked a question. The card can then be revealed to see if the group got the diagnosis correct.
Creative Group Revision Project
The nursing curriculum deals with a lot of information that needs to be memorized. To review for an exam, nursing students can split into groups and create revision posters. Each group should research a topic that will be assessed. Create a visual diagram of the most important information and use arts and crafts supplies to make it look good. Present each poster to the class. Every group can benefit from looking at other groups' posters as a revision aid. This will also help students develop their social skills by collaborating as a team.
Nursing Skills Simulation
Nurses are required to take vital signs, like body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. These nursing skills can be put to the test by a simulation activity where students have to spot the mistakes. One student can play the patient and another will play the role of a nurse. The nurse takes the patient's vital signs, and should purposely make mistakes. Each observing student takes it in turn to point out the mistake. The students should then show how to take the vital signs the correct way.
- University of Michigan, School of Nursing: Faculty Instructional Technology Resources - Instructional Games
- California Healthcare Foundation: Role Playing as a Learning Strategy
- Penn State, School of Nursing: School of Nursing Baccalaureate Degree Course Syllabus
- Royal College of Nursing: Standards for Assessing, Measuring and Monitoring Vital Signs in Infants, Children and Young People
- Determining The Value of Simulation in Nurse Education: Study Design & Initial Results