It was important that the environment that Laura was introduced into was right. Vast amounts of research have been done over the years on this aspect of learning. It is interesting to note that in a study completed by Dunn and Hansford(1997) five factors were identified using the Clinical Learning Environment Scale (CLES): staff-student relationships, nurse manager commitment, patient relationships, interpersonal relationships and student satisfaction. Within the learning environment the most influential factor being the trained staff and the student. They go on to emphasise that staff should not view students as just another set of hands which is difficult in a busy ward environment such as the one I work on due to staffing levels and volume of work.   Walsh (2010) suggests that if a student has a sense of security from the beginning of the placement they are more likely to have a sense of belonging. This will mean that they are more likely to take advantage of learning opportunities early on whereas the student who is excluded often misses them.

During our first formal meeting we also discussed learning styles Laura suggested to me that she was a reflective learner but wasn’t that certain. I suggested that we completed the VARK questionnaire (Fleming 2011).   This questionnaire helps the learner to categorise whether they learn best by visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic or multi-modal methods. On completion of this questionnaire we found we both learnt in a similar style using a mixture of all methods. Additionally we have a preference to ponder experiences and observe them from different perspectives. There have been many research projects completed on learning styles and how individuals learn by different methods. A framework was developed by Kolb (1984) which provided a model for identifying an individual’s learning style.

I now decided on what teaching strategies I would use with this student. This is important to give me a framework to make my...