August 21, 2008

Can nursing students communicate?

This is a little off-track for this blog but I have to ask, can nursing students communicate in writing anymore?

I ask this because I had been contributing to a student nurses forum on technology. One contributer said he did not believe nursing students should be required to buy PDAs. I responded generally about their benefits. I also sent a personal message asking for his rationale. Here is his response exactly as written:

i am a student whose instructor would always tell me the recall of material is better if one has to reachit, write the flas card and then read the information the reptition would help with the memory process. the PDA is great buy how many student actually know the material by heart after access online

It took me awhile to even figure out what this says. I eventually figured out it is the tired idea that we can memorize everything we need to know, and that somehow using a reference resource is cheating. But the bigger question is how will this student function as a professional nurse?

While many schools have students write term papers, who often to educators require students to present cogent written paragraphs? Is this example typical of many nursing students? If so, I would like to hear how we can help our future nurses demonstrate their ability to communicate in writing?