As a student in the Master of Pharmacy from learning journey, I expect professional and personal development. Given the impact education, particularly communication with mentors and peers, has on people, special attention should be paid to such communication quality. The establishment of relationships based on trust contributes to the educational process’s effectiveness, the achievement of its goals, and the development of the individual. Despite the difficulty of achieving trust and trustworthiness, they create the best conditions for students’ growth and personal transformation.
In order to create trust in a person, it is necessary to have a number of qualities and be trustworthy. Building and maintaining trust is facilitated by a sense of responsibility for one’s own conduct in this relationship. Thus, waiting for trust manifestations from one of the sides, it is necessary to do corresponding actions. Applying these concepts to education, I believe that mentors should be competent in their knowledge and communication, be impartial, be honest as much as necessary, and show respect. Given the learning environment’s specifics, mentors have a leading role in establishing trust as they take a higher position. Students, in turn, should also be respectful, honest, show interest in learning, and make efforts. These qualities can be sufficient when establishing a trusted relationship between the teacher and the student. The mutual understanding achieved in this way is adequate for the effective transfer of knowledge.
In relations with peers, trust can be expressed in support and assistance, the opportunity to share the experience. In this case, the two sides should promote relations equally. Moreover, in a pharmacist’s work, these manifestations are also indispensable, and confidentiality, and often care, is necessarily attached to them. As a result of the established trust, patients will be more open to treatment, taking the necessary drugs. In this case, the two sides should promote relations equally. Patients usually have a subordinate position towards pharmacists, and for this reason, physicians should show more effort to establish trust.
Distrust, in its turn, can cause negative experiences and adversely affect the learning journey. It is expressed in the sense of danger, discomfort, or fear, which leads to tension, the desire to interrupt contact, and in difficult situations to aggression and hostility. Applying to all relationships – with teachers, classmates, and patients, such characteristics as unreliability, conflict, competition, aggressiveness, incompetence, and similar to them can provoke distrust. As a result of mistrust with the teacher, the opportunity to study deteriorates, with peers – uncomfortable conditions appear, and with patients – their health may worsen. Trust is easier to break than to develop, and events that destroy trust are more visible and gain more weight in judgment than those that create trust. At the same time, the loss of trustworthiness is experienced more than the benefit from its justification.
If the experience of similar interactions has been negative, it may affect the establishment of trust in a new relationship. Thus, although new contacts will be seen as a change, a unique resource for development (in the case of a teacher), more effort is needed to establish trust. An integral part of overcoming mistrust in people will be politeness. I believe that its manifestations can compensate for past negative experiences, especially in relationships with patients. If the level of distrust is initially high, then the provision of assistance, support, and security guarantees will help reduce it.
Another feature of relationships based on trust is the sensitivity to assessing one’s behavior by a trusted person. In student-teacher, between students, and pharmacist-patient relations, there is always an element of evaluation of each other. In the process of conducting mutual assessments, a sense of vulnerability appears that does not allow a deeper understanding of someone (1). A sense of exposure may be due to the fear that any revealed trait in the relationship will affect the existing position. It can also be with past negative experiences that affect judgments. Although vulnerability decreases with the development of trust, it cannot completely disappear. Reflection can be a tool for recognizing own vulnerabilities and learning from the past. As a result, having overcome the fear of vulnerability and making efforts to establish trust relations, the two sides are mutually trained, improving their strengths.
Thus, the formation of trust relations, particularly with teachers, is the basis of an effective educational process. Such relationships are driven by learning environments in which mentors are subjects and students are objects, which means that teachers have more responsibility for achieving trusted relations. Trust and trustworthiness significantly influenced my educational journey, as I consider them necessary for the relationship to be mutually beneficial and valuable. For my part, I try to maintain the qualities needed – competence, responsibility, honesty, and other characteristics. In establishing trust, balance and reciprocity are critical, as they affect the disclosure of essential aspects of human nature developing the relations. Due to negative experiences, or as a result of mutual assessment, a sense of vulnerability arises. To overcome it, I consider reflection important, as it helps to understand both my experience and weaknesses. By overcoming vulnerability, people can raise relationships to a more trusting level.
Tanner JD, Rosenau PA, Clancy TL, Rutherford GE. The courage to be vulnerable: exploring experiences of peer and self-assessment of teaching in nursing education. Nursing: Research and Reviews. 2017;7: 17-28.