Experiential Learning

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“Knowledge results from the combination of grasping (observation) and transforming reflections into action (concrete experience)” (Kolb, 1894). Nursing is a practice profession. Clinical experience in the clinical setting is the integral part of the total education process for nursing students. (Estrella Cuarezma Sanchez, 1998) The clinical exposure of a student nurse is an experience that is not to be taken for granted. It is as important (if not more so) than the classroom lectures. In the field, the student nurse is allowed to experience dealing with actual patients and witnessing medical cases first hand. That is the reason why it is imperative that the student nurse make the most of his or her clinical experience. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge by study, instruction, practice or experience. To undergo a more meaningful learning, student nurses must have a positive experience in their practice setting. The Related Learning Experience (RLE) is the practicum component of the revised BSN curriculum which is community-oriented and competency based. In the long run, student nurses eventually learn how to collect data, interpret and synthesize findings, evaluate critically the effects of actions taken, perform procedures skillfully and relate to patients in an ethical and caring manner. But mastery of these lores will not take place unless students learn how to transform their experiences at work. A student nurse must unfold different abilities in order to fully utilize his or her experiences so he or she can assimilate these learnings. These abilities include learning from actual experience, learning by observing others, creating theories to understand what is seen and finally, using these theories to solve problems. In due time, with all their gained experienced learning, student nurses will be equipped with proper skills, sufficient knowledge and right attitude to be competitive with colleagues in the real nursing world. Hospital is an institution equipped and staffed to provide medical, surgical and sometimes psychiatric care for the sick and injured. This is where all health care providers practice their profession, this includes student nurses. As an institution, whether private or public, it maximizes the learning opportunities of student nurses. Student nurses are able to learn by observing health care professionals perform different medical procedures or by carrying out some of these activities themselves, of course under the supervision of a clinical instructor. Hospital learning experiences reinforce and strengthen their competencies both in classroom and in clinical area. Eventually, it would lead them to exercise what is expected of them as they handle lives and assume the role of a professional health care provider. That is why in Manila Doctors College, student nurses are provided rotations on different affiliated hospitals, both private and public. This is due to the reason that types of hospital rotation (private or public) have advantages and disadvantages that could greatly affect their learning experience. Opportunities for learning when it comes to gaining clinical experiences are equal. However, there are limitations in each type of hospital that give restrictions to the gaining of knowledge and experiential learning. The limitations hinder the students in practicing learned skills that they need to acquire. Each task a nursing student face during their clinical exposure requires a corresponding set of skills for effective performance. The effective matching of task demands and personal skills results in an adaptive competence gained from experience as the source of learning and development. The study comprises the extent of experiential learning to see which one is more likely to provide improvement in clinical ward area competencies in terms of concrete experience and reflective observation when group according to gender and...
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