News, Nursing

Working in Groups in Distance Education

Program: Psychiatric Nursing

Congratulations to Nicole who graduated from the Psychiatric Nursing Program! We thank her for her hard work on the blog and wish her the best of luck in her new career. Questions and comments will now be disabled. Please watch out for a new Psychiatric Nursing Student Blogger in the near future!

Hi All!

My cohort is well underway with our preceptorships, and the end of the program is getting closer! I am enjoying my role as student nurse in the community, working with the Adult Community Support Services team. Nurses on the ACSS team care for clients out in the community who require follow-up attention for their mental health concerns. The severity of illnesses we see in the community setting ranges, and it is interesting to note the prevalence of mental illness in my hometown. The community setting also allows for opportunity to note the incidence of drug use among mental health clients, something that is very hindering to mental illness and medication compliance in clients. All-in-all, this experience has so far been very enlightening for me, and I will continue to share bits and pieces of my journey with the blog readers!

For this blog, I wanted to focus on group work and how that dynamic is incorporated into an online program. Group work online can be difficult; it requires an extra effort on each members’ part to make for a functional group. We have had to do quite a bit of group work over the past several semesters, and in every group assignment, selecting a leader has been an important first step to take. The leader delegates and creates a necessary structure in the group that enables others to stay organized and get the job done! I have found that this has been very helpful in school group situations. In my cohort, we have never met up for group work, unless we were already situated at the same place (for practicum) and had some spare time to work on our assignments.  Group work can be great in that it brings classmates together, especially in the online setting, where we are quite distanced from each other unless we take it upon ourselves to spark friendships or keep in touch. It can bring about camaraderie that aids in learning and developing some really quality work. A major disadvantage is that some members may be tardy or lack enthusiasm in the assignment, and this can be a setback for the group. Working together means you have to take the good with the bad, and be willing to step up to the plate if someone else in the group steps down. Your grades matter, so working hard – even if others don’t – is important. Personally, I prefer working alone in school, and always have. I like to have only myself to rely on, as I know that I will get my work done and that it is my sole responsibility. But everyone is different, and understanding your learning style and how you work best is key to being a successful student!

While coursework has wrapped up for a little while during the crux of our preceptorships, we still have a lot to do. With only a few months of school left, studying for our registration exam is important! Trying to stay focused and keeping our priorities in check can be difficult when the sun is shining and summer fun has begun… but we have accomplished a great deal and are very close to the finish line! What a great feeling 🙂


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