This essay sample on Tuckman Theory In Nursing provides all necessary basic info on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
Reflection on the experience of EBL and IPL, including discussion of group processes and my own personal contribution. Within term A of year one I have been introduced to the concepts of Evidence based and Inter-professional learning. These methods of learning are central to the work of a qualified nurse. One of the essential skills of Nursing is self awareness. Burnard 1992:25 tells us that self awareness is “the continuous and evolving process of getting to know who you are”. This practice is promoted by the interaction required when working in groups.
I have found this to be one of the key concepts I have taken from the first term. Tuckman describes the five stages of group processes as forming, storming, norming, performing, and the latterly added adjourning. Having read Tuckman’s theory, I can recognise his theories in the experience I have undergone in EBL in particular. This may have been because IPL commenced after the initial stages of EBL had already occurred, and as such I recognised the same stages as I had already experienced in EBL, meaning that these were not such a learning curve in the latterly formed IPL group.
Tuckman’s first stage of ‘Forming’ refers to the period directly following the creation of the group, in which the individuals are becoming acclimatised to the boundaries within the group, both on a professional and interpersonal basis, forming and testing relationships. This was an interesting stage within our EBL group formation as it almost regressed us back to our school days, the assigned group leader – or facilitator assuming the role of the teacher, the group choosing specific seats, and returning to these same seats for each meeting; politely raising hands in order to make a point to the group.
At this stage the individual may be acutely self aware, in a way which limits their participation in the group, or lacking any self awareness in a way which potentially damages the aim of the group, distracts, and delays progress. Certainly I could identify both of these behaviours within my own EBL group. The second stage identified by Tuckman is that of ‘Storming’. This is conflict stemming from inter-personal issues that produces a resistance to group influence and requirements. I believe that this stage was certainly evident within EBL, and occurred very quickly.
Personally I experienced agitation at the behaviour of others within the group who I felt were jeopardising our learning and progress by not producing work as required, while at the same time appearing non constructively critical of the opinions of others who were providing a full contribution to the group. I am aware that my own agitation at the behaviour of those I felt were jeopardising the aim of the group in turn probably contributed to the ‘Storming’ phase of the group, yet found this difficult to deal with.
Perhaps I judged others in the group using my own values or ideology – that I had entered into this group to study Nursing and was extremely anxious to use this time in the most effective way to learn and share learning. Perhaps the very fact that we had entered this group through choice rather than instruction, and the nature of the career the group as a whole wished to pursue made it difficult to understand those that were not as focused on their studies. Interestingly, I am not sure whether the group as a whole emerged from the ‘Storming’ Phase of EBL.
Certainly the group progressed and matured from the initial weeks, yet I am not sure whether this was as a whole, or rather with the acceptance that some group members would not make a valid contribution to the group and that the remainder would have to make up for this potential deficit in learning. As such, perhaps the group entered its ‘Norming’ stage without completely overcoming the storming stage, or becoming complicit to the shared set of values drawn up and agreed in the forming stage.
Norming within this EBL group was the progression to accomplishing tasks with less involvement from the facilitator, and less internal group argument and criticism. The fourth stage outlined by Tuckman is that of Performing. The group should be highly skilled and working as a tight unit, requiring no input from a leader or facilitator. I certainly do not feel that our EBL group attained this level, yet interestingly I feel it was attained by our IPL group from the second meeting.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that within IPL we have the added element of respecting each other’s professions, and the requirement to trust what we are told by other group members as we have not undergone the same experience or learning. Within EBL, as a group of student Nurses from the same cohort, there is an understanding that we have all experienced the same level of teaching thus far in our course and that we should all be capable to the same basic level.
Unfortunately this did not seem to translate itself to our BL, where our very different opinions and understandings of what we were required to do both within our learning group and research means that while we were able to agree on learning outcomes and complete the research each week, we certainly required guidance from our facilitator, and there was a very apparent acceptance that some individuals did not participate in a satisfactory manner, and would continue to disrupt the group and its purpose.
Perhaps the fact that our EBL group did not successfully complete the four stages of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing, gave me a slightly different outlook upon the fifth latterly added stage of adjourning. Adjourning is also referred to as the mourning period. A period Tuckman tells us we should prepare for from the formation of the group. Tuckman tells us this can be a stressful period, especially where unplanned.
We were made aware from the initial group formation that the process would only be five weeks in length, however rather than holding this knowledge to use as acceptance once the group dissolved, I found myself and others in the group referring to it often to get us through the difficult and seemingly endless storming phase our group produced. Knowing that the group would adjourn helped me greatly in accepting the behaviour of others that I do not find appropriate or otherwise tolerable.
I have found the entire process of EBL extremely useful if not always enjoyable. It has been interesting in that we drew up our shared values and acceptable behaviour on the very first meeting at the suggestion of our facilitator – something I have never done when involved in group work previously, yet this group turned out to be perhaps the least successful group I have been involved in, not abiding by the shared values set out at the point of creation, and storming throughout the entire process, at times jeopardising the very purpose of the group’s creation.
Burnard, Philip. | Title | Know yourself! : self-awareness activities for nurses and other health professionals / Philip Burnard. | Publisher | London : Whurr, 1997 |