Lessons from the pandemic: new approaches to learning clinical skills

07 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 16

During the COVID-19 pandemic first-year nursing students had to adapt to unprecedented challenges. For the first time, they were learning practical clinical skills using synchronous and asynchronous approaches to cover theoretical aspects of learning and balancing this with face-to-face learning for practical sessions. Analysing the impact has influenced the faculty to design post-pandemic curricula that prepare students for practical sessions using synchronous and asynchronous approaches in a positive way.

University of East London faculty who were designing synchronous and asynchronous theoretical practice learning modules had to consider these modalities and how to combine them with face-to-face teaching of practical clinical skills. This presented a challenge. Synchronous learning involved real-time learning in a virtual space, whereas asynchronous learning provided the students with access to pre-recorded material.

There were advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Synchronous learning provided the advantage of large group teaching, student interaction and engagement and covered theoretical skills teaching. Asynchronous learning provided the students with access to pre-recorded material, offering flexibility. Students were able to study the material as many times as necessary and learn at their own pace before attending face-to-face practical sessions.

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