How quickly things change – or am I simply getting older!? Back in what seems to be the dim and distant past as a student nurse, we all knew that at the end of 15 weeks we would have one of two things happen – an exam or an assignment.
For my own part I would happily take the assignment any day of the week than have to prepare for an unseen examination and then spend what seemed to be an extraordinary amount of time analysing what one had written, hoping that everyone else was wrong and I, by stroke of absolute genius, was correct.
Of course, mistakes were made and sub-analysis occurred between friends once the results were given. Now that I am back at college studying again, the whole system of giving results has changed beyond all recognition.
With the introduction of the Blackboard e-learning system – a now well-recognised inclusion into the majority of university courses regardless of the topic – the whole system of delivering and receiving information has been turned on its head.
No longer are students trying to note down information from the PowerPoint presentation when, with a swift click of a mouse, a new slide appears and you are left with the crucial sentence left out. No longer do students have to write every single piece of information down that they think may be relevant to their assignment, hoping that the year and name of the reference is correct. No longer do you have to queue outside the secretary's office with clammy hands and palpitations, only to receive an envelope from a secretary who simply instructs you to "sign here" as recognition that you have received your results.
Now students, including myself, merely have to log into their student account, navigate to "My results" and, bingo, there they are in all their glory, good bad or indifferent. There are no envelopes and no signature, but the clammy palms and the palpitations, sitting at the computer with a finger poised over the mouse hoping that the result is the desired one, have not changed.
Blackboard is a fantastic tool and allows the student to reflect on lectures, obtain reading lists, enter the university library and talk to members of the teaching team and fellow students. Everything that a student requires is there at the touch of a button and can make life a little easier – once you have mastered the navigation of it.
Depending on your view, change can be positive or negative, but it is an inevitable part of life and, in the main, is a good thing. If any one of us sat down and thought about how things have changed within the sphere of nursing I am sure that we would all take a sharp intake of breath.
The nursing profession itself is constantly changing and evolving, for better or worse, but it is the short-sighted individual who does not embrace change. I have yet to meet such an individual and it is our medical colleagues on some occasions who fall victim to this.
It has to be said that as a profession we are a group of progressives who never let the grass grow under our feet. I believe this is a good thing, not only for the established professionals among us but also for the professionals of the future. As the saying goes – united we stand, divided we are surely going to fall.
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