Showing Respect is not Hard
From my first day in University, lecture etiquette has been detailed as one of the most important aspects of learning during the 3 years spent training as a nurse. This allows us to listen and absorb what is being taught to us and show respect for the person delivering the lecture and sharing their knowledge and experience to help student nurses on the journey to gaining the knowledge and experience they need to succeed as a qualified nurse.
As I now approach my 3rd year in my training, lecture etiquette seems to be the main area disrespected by many students not only within my cohort, but in many of the other cohorts within my university. I regularly speak to other students whom experience the same disruption in lectures, yet this remains a problematic area.
Having experienced the delivery of a short lecture in front of a full intake of students (approximately 200) I have first-hand experience of the preparation and time taken from gathering the content of the presentation, to delivering the presentation, the pressure of ensuring your content is interesting enough to maintain the interest of all your students and the nerves involved in standing in front of all those expectant faces, delivering a presentation with the confidence that you are an expert in your field and having the ability to answer any questions that arise. Imagine this process, and then imagine how it must feel to have someone disrupt your efforts by talking or texting during your lecture and then experiencing the same on a larger scale after you have asked your students to settle. It is very disheartening.
The purpose of the lectures we receive as student nurses are not only to prepare us with knowledge to build on to become successful nurses, but also to prepare us as professionals, we wouldn’t start discussing our weekend whilst in the middle of a ward round or in handover, so why do this in the middle of a lecture? It is also very distracting for colleagues within the lecture, who are interested in the content of the lecture and trying to listen, to have someone sat behind them having a different conversation.
Lecture etiquette is a way of showing we care about the profession we are entering into by having the courtesy to follow a set of rules put in place to allow us to gain the most from our learning experience. It is our way of showing how passionate we are about the career path we have chosen by wanting to learn everything we can to become good nurses, who have the knowledge and skills to treat our patients. Remember why you wanted to become a nurse in the first place and how hard you worked to get where you are today.
Lecture etiquette is simple;
Arrive on time for the session.
Turn off mobile phones, or if you have a family issue which may need addressing, ask the lecturer if you can keep your phone on silent. Most people will accommodate this.
Do not talk while the lecturer is talking
If you have a question, raise your hand or wait until the designated time for asking questions (usually at the end of the lecture).
If we think about our 6C’s of nursing, Care, Compassion, Courage, Commitment, Communication, Competence. These also apply to how we conduct ourselves away from placement and this includes how we present ourselves in university, we should ask ourselves, do we care enough to respect our colleagues and their learning experience? Do we care that the person delivering the lecture has spent hours preparing and is most likely as nervous as we are when taking an exam? Are we compassionate in our behaviour towards others? Are we committed enough to our future career to listen to what we are being taught and show we can be professional? Do we have the excellent communication skills required to be a nurse? Do we know this includes listening too? Do we have the courage to confront our colleagues who are disruptive and ask them to show some respect? We should be practicing our 6C’s all the time not just on placement and what better way to get some practice than with each other?
We should treat our lectures how we treat our practice, in a professional manner, respect our colleagues and adhere to our NMC code of practice and remember, lectures are there for our benefit, we cannot pass our course without the information given in them.