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Assessment 1 Self directed Learning Plan: Gap in Knowledge and Theory Assessment Answer

Assessment 1 S'elf-directed Learning Plan

Weighting 30%

Length 700 words 

Details Part of the registration standards to be a registered nurse includes completing a minimum amount of self-directed continuing professional development hours per year. This involves identifying learning needs, creating an action plan and reflecting on this action and its relevance to your practice. Thinking about what you’ve learnt in your first year of study (or previous study), identify and reflect upon a gap in your knowledge. This may be something related to a particular body system, disease process, theory or anything you have found challenging. Perhaps you did not do as well as you had hoped in an exam or assessment related to this. The idea of reflection is about improving. In this assessment you will complete a ‘What? So what? Now what?’ (Driscoll, 2007) reflection and action plan about your knowledge gap.

Instructions 1. Describe a gap in your knowledge (What?) 200 words 2. Discuss the significance of this gap (So what?) 300 words 3. Complete the template (found on the eLearning site) (Now what?) 200 words 

You should include supportive evidence for the ‘so what?’ section of this paper as well as include suggested resources you may use in the ‘now what?’ template where appropriate. You should use first person for the ‘what?’ and ‘so what?’ sections of this assessment.


Gap in knowledge and theory


Nursing has been considered as a combination of both academic knowledge and practical skills (Ajani & Moez, 2011). The application of knowledge is started on female surgical ward which specialises in bowel surgery and care. The patient, Lisa was admitted for surgical attempt to recover her colorectal cancer. In this respect the patient required post surgery temporary transverse colostomy which required learning new skills to manage own care and needs (Kirkland-Kyhn, Martin, Zaratkiewicz, Whitmore & Young, 2018). I introduced myself as patient centred nurse and I was anxious to handling a sensitive topic. I was afraid that adjusting to a stoma and colostomy can be challenging for her. I was avoiding any controversial comments and emphasising that the colostomy can be effectively managed by individuals (Whitehead & Cataldo, 2017). I realised that the reality was harder than theoretical studies. I was realising that she was also anxious and finding difficulties in understanding the condition. My approaches were unable to reduce her stress. I was unable to become calm and confident in order to facilitate the caring process of the patient.  I was disappointed on my practice as it was influenced by my assumptions. The gap of knowledge in theory and reality was responsible for my failure. I was unable to realise the fact that incorporation of family member in the training session can motivate the patient and her psychology.  


Pre- surgical learning session is essential for the patient to increase the understanding of the surgery and necessary of changing behaviour (American Cancer Society, 2017). My techniques were incorrect which increases her tension and stress. Lisa was frightened about the change a colostomy. However, it was essential for her to change it regularly. She was nervous and tensed about the colostomy but she has been assured by me that the nurses would help in the process of colostomy.     

I was determined not to show any signs of fear or confusion during the changing process. I was trying to involve myself and Lisa in the process of changing. It was helping in creating partnership between two of us. The practical handling of colostomy is extremely difficult in context of theoretical knowledge. Gradually, I realised that I need to use my theoretical knowledge in my practical approach. My positive behaviour towards the circumstances helps to engage my patient in the whole changing process. The involvement of Lisa in the whole process motivated me to move beyond the teaching skills of changing a colostomy and focus on the patient’s specific needs. She was concerned about her dietary implications and the impact of surgery on her social activities. I was decided to provide her a leaflet about the information as my knowledge was basic in dietary purpose. I assured her that if she had any more quires then I could fix appoint with the concerned person.      

The teaching skill about the changing of colostomy is influenced by social learning theory (Grant, McCorkle, Hornbrook, Wendel & Krouse, 2012). It supposes to be dependent on the psychological and physiological condition of the patients and the nurses should incorporate the family member in the changing process which can motivate the patients. The gap between the knowledge and theory can be eliminated by considering the patient’s needs and requirements.

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