As I look back on the few months I participated at Encore Senior Center, I watched my self grow. I became a leader and fulfill all of the 9 objectives of NUR 4010 Community.
I met objective 1 by demonstrating professionalism through personal behaviors and appearance. I went out and demonstrated professionalism by maintaining interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. I maintained confidentiality with all seniors and provided them with one on one care. As I did this, I created presentations and provided education based on the top 5 causes of death. I targeted all my teachings with this in mind. I prepared by making power point presentations, poster boards, and most importantly, by educating my self on the topics. I took it upon myself to educate and refresh certain topics that I was unsure of. I also provided pamphlets and brochures to help aid with my teachings.
My goal was to provide professional care and to do so I dressed professionally. I went in to clinical at 8:30 am sharp and provided teaching from 9am to 12pm and ended off at 12:30pm. Within the 30 minutes (8:30 to 9 and 12 to 12:30) I would use that time to set up and prepare my table. Whenever I held presentations, I informed the coordinator to again approval. She provided me an area to do my presentation and it was completed in a timely manner. The coordinator was also provided me with guidance whenever I need help or had questions. As a nurse I wanted to attend meetings and conferences to get involved in the community but I was unable to do so since they were held in the afternoon.
I completed objective 2 and 6 by applying reasoning and critical thinking skills when providing care to individuals. I was committed to build up my professional development. I provided one on one care to every senior patient and answered questioned they were unsure about. During interviews and blood pressure screenings (which were held every week), I kept a log of the patient’s blood pressure and things that I taught. I took into consideration important factors such as the individual’s race/ethnicity, cultural beliefs, emotional well being, and health status and provided cultural sensitive care. I set target goals and did physical assessments (B/P screening and BMI). I prioritize the information by most importance to least. For example, if I seen that high blood pressure was a trend. I would recommend/ advise the person to do exercises, make changes to their diets (follow low sodium diet, watch food labels), and most importantly to see their doctor. Many of the patients who have not seen the doctors in years, made appointments and were placed on medications.
I would evaluate each person every week to see if he/she was improving. I didn’t get administer medication or treatments but I did get to educate seniors about the medication and treatments they were getting. I spoke to them about their medications and its side effects and uses. Whenever I was in the facility, safety was my priority. For example, one time one of the seniors was feeling dizzy and asked to get a blood glucose test. Safety was achieved by following infection control techniques such as washing hands, wearing gloves, etc. as well as me assisting her. I even took the time to evaluate myself. After every encounter I evaluate my teaching methods and my responses and ask myself what I could have done better?
I met objective 3 by being able to communicate with diverse groups by using strategies regarding the health need of individuals. At Encore Senior Center there are many people from different races that attend this center. At first it was challenging getting to know people and their cultural beliefs but as time went on it was easier to communicate. I began seeing that the Asians were very shy and didn’t really provided eye contact and that the Latinos were more verbal in communicating their needs. Majority of the people their consisted of Latinos. I was lucky to have the coordinator Nieves and another workers their to help communicate. At some point I even started learning some new words and I also founded a website that translates English in to Spanish which was really helpful.
While educating the patients, I wanted to make sure that the patient understood what I said. So at the end I would ask them to repeat what I told them. I would also question them about the things I taught and if they seem unsure I would reteach it again. I found that it was helpful when I showed people pictures. When I did teaching on cholesterol I showed the seniors a picture of fat being build up in the arteries because its different when your seeing, rather then hearing about it. With every patient I documented what I taught/educated him or her on and I kept a log of it.
I completed objective 4 and 7 by establishing a proper environment conducive to learning. I incorporated nursing standards into my practices. I performed my duties in my scope of practice and held responsibility of my area and the seniors who I came in contact with. I made presentations, which was based on evidence based practice. When I informed the coordinator about doing the presentation, she provided me with the room, chairs and blood pressure monitor. I made sure the room had good lighting and no noise distractions, this way there are no barriers in educating.
I met objective 5 by utilizing the technology I was surrounded by. I kept patient information in writing locked in a cabinet. There were no technology base supplies for me to use other than the scanner.
I completed objective 8 by collaborating with people from different levels. I held contact with the coordinator, social worker and director. If I seen a patient in need of help I would refer them to the social worker. I would also recommend the seniors to stay and participate in activities that would benefit them.
I met objective 9 by recognizing the impact of economic, political, and demographic forces that affect health and well being of individuals. As a student taking Community and Urban, I’m aware of the disparities in health care. I see how the communities living adjacent to another can have death rates that are years apart. I see how much the environment can affect ones health and how politics can help change that. Everything has a domino effect in society and it affects everyone, especially the poor.