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Do you work well with your fellow students?

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Nursing is not a solitary profession.

Whether it be interacting with patients, taking a handover from your colleagues or attending meetings you will always be put in a situation where you have to interact with a diverse spectrum of people.

In order to prepare for this universities try to encourage you to mix with other people and to work outside of your comfort zone.

One of the most effective ways to ensure you work well with other people is a group assessed presentation. A module at my university that focuses on patients with life limiting illnesses has four students presenting to a group for 15 minutes.

We are allocated our groups broadly on ability and for a couple of weeks are expected to organise meetings and collaborate on each other’s presentations as well as a poster demonstrating key themes.

That in itself can create obstacles.

Sometimes students don’t always live near to each other and sometimes the ability mix of the group isn’t always equal. I have seen the situation arise where one or two members of the group were not putting in the same amount of effort as their counterparts. This not only meant that the other members of the group were having to do more to compensate for this, but it also created tension and a somewhat awkward working environment.

From my own experience I have been lucky in that the people I worked with were all pleasant and professional, but that may not always be the case. This goes for trained nurses as well, as there will certainly be experiences where the most difficult people you have to interact with won’t be the patients but other members of staff.

This assessment is a real test of the student’s organisational and interpersonal skills. You have to be self-reliant enough to research and plan your own involvement in the presentation but also have the ability to liaise with your fellow students and attend planning meetings to ensure that the group presentation as a whole is up to the required standard. It sharpens your skills and hopefully serves as a slight inoculation against the anxiety we all feel when presenting to an audience.

Let me know if you have any tips for working with others or surviving a group presentation using the comment section.

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