NUR 4010 FA 2013

Fleurine Dorgely
Community Nursing

For Community Nursing Fall 2013 my clinical site was the Stein Senior Center located at 204 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010. It caters to the elder population and serves as socializing grounds for the seniors in that community. I demonstrated individual professionalism through personal behaviors and appearance in clinicals by wearing business causal clothing and having a respectful attitude towards my peers and the seniors at the center. Client confidentiality was maintained by having the senior write their names on the front of the page and their BP reading on the back of the page when we did their blood pressure screenings. Sometimes I got so caught up in the days activities that I may not fully grasp something that was said in class; so my means of seeking guidance appropriately was to contact my professor via email regarding any questions I may have or things that were of concern to me. I participated actively in clinical conference by listening actively, asking questions, and recording any pertinent information for the planning of our health fair. Clinicals started at approximately 9AM and once all my classmates are present we discuss where we are in terms of the health fair, what has been done and what needs to be done then everyone breaks off into groups. Some of us go to belly dancing, knitting class, or computer class where we can engage with the seniors. Every week we decide or professor chooses who will be doing the BP screenings. The resident’s used to be so eager to get their BP’s taken; especially the ones on medication and we were more delighted to take it for them. On one occasion where I was able to assess the impact of emotional influences on a client’s health status when she told us how she fell and broke her hip. She told the class about how she is a recent immigrant from Africa in the process of getting her papers, and how getting accustomed to NYC was taking such a toll on her she fell in the subway one day which resulted in her breaking her hip.
I engaged in effective communication with the diverse group of seniors using a variety of strategies such as offering to help them with whatever activity they were doing, or offering them a blood pressure screening which is when they tell us about themselves the most. This is usually the time when I ask them or they may volunteer if they’re on any cardiac medications. Based on the information they gave me I would be able to assess what needs to be clarified, rectified, or reinforced concerning their medication regimen. In doing this I had one senior who told me she has had multiple hospitalizations in the past few months. When I asked her if she had any advance directives she verbalized to me that she didn’t really know that advance directives were. This was my opportunity to educate her on what advance directives are and the importance of having it for the delivery of care.
I was able to communicate effectively with my peers and professor with regard to the health fair by setting up due dates collaboratively and by giving brief reminders of whatever is due or planned for the following week. My clinical group I was able to communicate with Bob the manager at the Stein Senior center when it came to things like how many tables can fit into the room (which gave us an idea of how many vendors to invite). Bob was also helpful to us by letting us use the center’s letter head on our invitation letters to the vendors, and also by letting us have whatever merchandise we ordered for the fair to be delivered there as well. My classmates and I had some trouble coming up with what the name of the fair will be but we were able to finally decide on Heart Health Fair. We decided that the theme would be red to represent heart health. Everyone had to wear red tops with a white lab coat the day of the fair. We thought about having red heart shaped lollipops but opted not to since they were a little pricey. We had regular chocolate and candy instead. Food was provided to us by Dunkin Donuts and a local pizza shop (free of charge which was awesome). We had goody bags prepared for the seniors who attended the fair which comprised of water bottle/jug, informational pamphlets and brochures and whatever the vendors brought for them as well. The goody bag was a goody in itself because it was a reusable earth friendly shopping bag. The day of the fair we also had a trivia table set up where we tested the seniors on the signs of a heart attack or cancer and what to do in emergent situations. For the most part the seniors did well. Beside the trivia table we had the BP screening station set up where we took the seniors BP and recorded the results on a separate piece of paper.
Planning our health fair took place over the course of the semester. From the second week of clinicals we started getting ready and making preparations for our fair which turned out to be a success. What I learned from this clinical experience is the importance of working collaboratively with your peers to make something like this happen. My classmates and I all worked together in implemented effective teamwork to put this fair together. We bought table cloths, balloons, wall postings, confetti, other office supplies to put together the binder, and spent on the reproduction of our flyers and other paper work.
The most important thing I learned from this semester clinical was how imperative planning and teamwork is when planning something like this. We also learned a valuable lesson when some of the vendors didn’t show up last minute. That lesson was to over invite and to call and confirm with them a couple days prior to the event to confirm. Overall the fair was a success and I was pleased with the outcome. We had about 200 people show up and everyone enjoyed themselves.