Since my school years to my previous job, I have always been constantly exploring my self-value. I tried out different kinds of job, figuring out how to better support people around me. I am a person who would like to offer my help to support the weak and needy, and at the same time I hope my career can have a potential long-term career path. With these considerations, I found that nursing is the right career choice for me as it meets a good balance between them, a profession that allows me to make one’s life better, in a more direct way. Learning needs sufficient activation. A good learning environment helps students to focus and stimulate the desire to discover new knowledge. IMU is known for its established teaching system and high education standard, which set a good foundation for students to acquire knowledge systematically. The dynamic and interactive environments provided by the University also allow us to have more hands-on exercise to deepen our understanding and skills. After the completion of the 1st semester, I am now very curious and excited to apply the knowledge learnt from classroom to real life clinical practice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning pattern evolved from traditional classroom learning to online e-learning. It is a new experience for students, as well as for the faculties and University staff.
Although there are some technical hurdles, overall, the situation was well-handled in its adaptation to this transformation, with the great support from the University. Faculty members were also constantly collecting feedback and encouraging students to share their opinion, which shows that they truly value each student’s view and are open to seek continuous improvement together.
Despite the change in teaching method, we did not lack hands-on practice, and even had our first Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It was a very interesting experience. We have done many practices before the examination, but I was still nervous and afraid of making mistakes. After completing the first assessment station, during the waiting time to enter the next station, I took a short time to reflect.
It was then that I realised that I made a mistake in the first station. This is a result of me having too many worries in my mind, which can divert my attention from carrying out any task smoothly like normal. In a real-life situation, nurses need to face difficult critical situations and there is limited time to react and make decisions. And so, we need to practice controlling our emotions during these situations and during examination as well. With these thoughts in my mind, I tried to get a hold of myself, to keep calm. I am definitely more satisfied with my performance for the following assessment stations.
After the OSCE examination, the simulated patients, and assessors gave us feedback on our performances. I appreciate their honest and constructive feedback as I know that this feedback will help me to improve my future performance.
I feel that I am still inexperienced and not competent enough as I am only in my first year of studies. Nonetheless, practice makes perfect, I believe we just need more hands-on practice and exposure. Thus, I am very much looking forward to the coming semesters and clinical practices. Nursing is a very dynamic and challenging career, which not only focuses on taking care of ill individuals and their families but nurses also play a huge role as ambassadors of wellness for health promotion and illness prevention in communities, especially now during this COVID-19 pandemic. As I am learning more about this profession, I hope to alter people’s mindset that underestimate and stereotype this noble nursing profession. Also, I hope in the future I can inspire and motivate others to make an effort to improve their quality of life.
Written by Chen Yie Ling, 曾依玲, Nursing Student Edited by Chow Suh Hing and Dr Lim Swee Geok