What sort of teaching is done in your professional role?
Teaching is a focal part of my job as a neonatal intensive care nurse. There is a lot of teaching done with the parents and the families of the neonate; things as simple as changing a diaper for the first time. Teaching the parents how to take temperatures and move the oxygen saturation probe on their baby’s foot helps them to feel involved. Another part of our job in the NICU is to assist the mother and teach her about breast feeding.
We also teach the parents about disease processes and procedures that affect their baby.
Aside from teaching the parents and families, as a unit charge nurse I am also responsible for continually educating and mentoring staff. I am also responsible to educate expectant parents of what to expect when their premature infant is born. I am always amazed at how comforting information can be to new parents and family members of the neonate. Most people relax a little and feel empowered when they understand the why’s and what’s of what is being done to their baby.
Is there any nursing/health care provider role that does not involve teaching in some manner?
I feel that every nurse/healthcare provider is a teacher. However, I feel that most people assume that any education provided by a nurse/healthcare provider is clinical in nature. While this may be true in the majority of cases, I would like to mention some examples of non-clinical education.
Nurses and healthcare providers in administrative/managerial roles are often faced with challenges that don’t always include patient care. While a good portion of the education they provide includes keeping staff updated on clinical methods, they must also be skilled in educating their staff in regards to company rules/policies. A manager quickly realizes that a happy employee becomes a more productive and well- rounded employee. Happy employees require constant education in areas of interpersonal relationships with peers, patients and families. I cannot think of one person in healthcare/nursing that does not teach.