One of the things I've become aware of as I work my way through the Course material is that I haven't consistently landed on a 'thing' which I want to address as a thread throughout the course. I have meandered through both postgraduate and undergraduate aspects of my teaching, using examples from each to highlight different aspects of my musings about flexible learning. It is time to settle down!
I've been thinking alot about one particular aspect of learning that the students become acquainted with more specifically in the beginning of the second year of undergraduate midwifery education. This is the area of antenatal screening, which is an area that students need to have sound knowledge about, but also a level of sensitivity in relation to the way that this discussion occurs with pregnant women. It used to be that the first visit with a pregnant woman was a great opportunity to latch onto her excitement and thrill about her pregnancy, congratulate her warmly and begin the journey of learning about her aspirations and hopes for her pregnancy, birth and beyond.
With the advent of earlier and earlier opportunities for screening, the first visit has beome one of "congratulations - fantastic - you're pregnant BUT..." and the need to have a frank and somewhat sobering conversation about how things might not be perfect and what technologies are available to assist us to uncover the possibilites of imperfection. This is tricky ground, and an area that students identify as being something that makes them nervous. So I think my plan is shaping up into thinking of an inclusive, thoughtful and thorough preparation for the students to tackle this aspect of care, by piecing together a variety of strategies to cover this complex content.
There is plenty of theory and research to introduce to them about the screening options on offer, but at present they don't have so much available to them about how to communicate effectively with women about this, how women feel about being offered this level of scrutiny of their pregnancies, what women of diffferent ethnicity or cultural/religious affiliations think about this information etc. I think a more complete package of learning that encompasses these additional apsects (besides the 'facts' about the screening offerred) would make for better-prepared students, and therefore ultimately a better service to women in the community who might consider that more of their own needs are being met.
So perhaps I will plan to create a learning package that covers more ground, and in ways that will expand student thinking beyond 'the facts' and give them additional tools to work with when discussing this important aspect of care.