Competence 7: Creating new knowledge or information
“How will you share what you have learned?”
The diagram below depicts the learning cycle developed by David Kolb (1984), and represents a four-stage process of Experiential Learning.
What this diagram illustrates is Kolb’s theory that, in order for us to learn something, we need to go through the four-stage process of:
- Doing something.
- Thinking about what we have done.
- Drawing conclusions from our experience.
- Actively putting those conclusions into practice.
So far on your journey, you may have:
- Learned something valuable - perhaps a new skill, or a new method of doing something - with the intention of benefitting your patient.
- Captured your learning from this online resource, and from your experience of looking for and using the evidence, within your Learning Zone portfolio.
- Introduced the learning to your daily practice, and your daily practice has improved as a result.
- Felt increasingly confident that your findings will help other colleagues and patients too.
- Decided to share your new information.
To begin with, you may decide to share with your immediate colleagues. This may be informal - sharing your experiences during a meeting, perhaps - or it could take the form of something a little more structured. Whilst formal presentations may be new to you, there are tools available online to help you increase your confidence and skills in presenting. You may decide to use a formal presentation package such as PowerPoint, or you may decide to just speak from a set of handwritten notes, or any variable in-between. Whatever you decide, you can find tips and advice on giving presentations from a number of online resources. Links to the sources listed below can be found in the 'Useful resources' section such as:
- A tutorial from the University of Southampton, entitled 'Giving Presentations'.
- A resource from Newcastle University, 'Communication Skills - Making Oral Presentations'.
Writing for publication
Writing an article is the best way of sharing your information with the widest possible audience, in order to benefit the greatest number of patients. Writing articles may be something that you haven't considered doing before but again, help is at hand. Links to the sources listed below can be found in the 'Useful resources' section of this learning area:
- The RCN article, 'Getting Published', is very user-friendly.
- Free online tips, tools and resources designed to improve writing skills are available from Mind Tools - these show you how to aim your work at a specific audience.
- Free examples of reports that may be useful when determining your layout are available from 'Samples Help!'
In all cases, remember to credit your information sources.
Changing practice within your workplace
The process of changing established practice can be a lengthy one, and you may also find that some colleagues are more responsive to changing their behaviour than others. The 'How to Change Practice' guide from NICE (2007) may be useful in understanding the process of change, why it can be difficult, how to identify the barriers to change and advice on how to overcome those barriers, in order to improve patient care. Your patients will benefit, as will you, and you will have improved your daily practice and that of many of your colleagues.
You may want to record any key actions that you want to implement in your daily practice, or any reflections related to your learning, in the 'Taking action' section. You can type straight into the PDF documents, which can then be saved onto your computer and uploaded to your e-Portfolio, as evidence of your learning.