Lifelong learning in the NHS
The Scottish Executive's Lifelong Learning Strategy (2003) defines Lifelong Learning as encompassing "…the whole range of learning: formal and informal learning, workplace learning, and the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that people acquire in day-to-day experiences."
What kind of learner are you?
You may have already done some self-assessment as a student to determine what type of learner you are. This website introduces you to the basics of Honey & Mumfords learning styles - so why not have look and see what type of learning suits you best
Your learning environment
It is important that you identify early in your new post what opportunities and arrangements (for example, a local protected learning time policy) exist locally to support your learning, in additional to the Flying Start NHS development programme. Identify both the uni-professional and multi-professional opportunities for lifelong learning within your place of work/ NHS Board, for example, NHS library, e-Library, Learning Centres, or people who have this remit like Practice Education Facilitators.
Clarifying learning Needs
What do I want to learn?
Before any training or development activity, it is important to establish what your learning objectives are. If you have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve, then you will be more likely to be able to achieve it. Use the following checklist with your mentor to discuss what you want to learn from the activity. This discussion will ensure that you get maximum benefit from the activity and will help to facilitate your continuous development.
Are you unsure what your natural learning style is? Complete this exercise and match your learning style with one of Honey and Mumford's four distinct styles. With a clear understanding of your preferred method, you can best gauge what training and development methods will be the most effective for you. It may be useful for your mentor to share their preferred personal learning style with you, and discuss the differences in how you learn.
Benefits of lifelong learning
Make a list of the benefits of lifelong learning for:
a) you as an individual
b) the team you work in
c) patients, clients and their families
Add this list to your portfolio and review it regularly as you progress through Flying Start NHS - note if your views change as you develop.
Your NHS KSF Post outline
Now you have looked at both the benefits and the resources for lifelong learning in your area, agree with your mentor or KSF reviewer the priorities for your learning for the next 3 months and record this in your Personal Development Plan. Revisit this activity every three months, and update your PDP.