With June being the beginning of summer and the end of an academic year for me, I found it to be a particularly busy month. I am grateful to have finally made it to July! Finishing up my first few months as a new part-time instructor brought forth an overwhelming “to do” list that seemed to never end, and in the third week of June, I found myself sitting with my list feeling somewhat discouraged, and not very motivated to address any of the tasks at hand. My time management issue was rearing its ugly head!
Time management, or lack thereof, had been a recurring theme throughout this past clinical rotation for my students. At one of our weekly post-conference groups, I conducted a brief small-group coaching session focused on time management in the acute care setting, and it’s relationship to patient care. The students shared their observations and feelings regarding their perceived inability to complete their work assignments within the designated timeframe. These perceptions and feelings were quite similar for all five students: not being able to organize tasks to facilitate completion in a timely manner, and feeling inadequate, frustrated, and discouraged.
I invited the students to use empowerment language to describe their experiences that day. Brain storming allowed the students to easily identify roadblocks to completing their work assignments on time, as well as identify potential solutions to those roadblocks. By creating a “ta-da” list, each student was able to write and share a list of things that they had successfully completed, and shift focus to feelings of gratitude and positivity. A plan was identified to facilitate improved time management in the future for each student.
The outcome of this brief small group coaching session included student discovery of the following: the ability to shift personal and group energy through the sharing of experiences; the helpfulness in identifying similar experiences between students; the potential solutions to time management roadblocks and their easy implementation; positive experiences existed in the midst of what was previously viewed as negative. The energy shift during our post-conference that day was dramatic, which also became a topic of discussion!
Our clinical rotation certainly ended positively with high student morale, and this academic year is drawing to a close for me in a positive way also. I have looked at my own performance over the past few months and identified my own roadblocks, potential solutions, and the things that I did accomplish filling me with gratitude. I am also curious to explore the theory of shared consciousness in the classroom setting this coming academic year. I would like to find out what impact our group work this rotation has on the time management of students in my next rotation…but I will be sure to enjoy my summer break first!
Diane Shaver, RN, MSN, NC-BC is a Registered Nurse and graduate of the Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. Diane has over 35 years experience in caring for adults and children in acute care hospitals and community health settings with a focus on patient education, health promotion, and holistic nursing.