Service Learning Project

Community Health Nursing forms an important part of the nursing discipline. It exposes nurses to the various important aspects of the community that they live and work in. This self reflective narrative seeks to explain the manner in which I was able to accomplish my objectives throughout my clinical experience at the Kings County Hospital Center.

Objective 1: Demonstrates individual professionalism through personal behaviors and appearance. During the five week period, we met at the Kings County Hospital Center every Tuesday and Wednesday at approximately 9am. Being punctual was of vital importance to me hence, I ensured that I was there at 8:45 am. This allowed me sufficient time to compose myself for the clinical experience ahead. Professionalism was demonstrated through my punctuality. Also, I ensured that I was appropriately dressed. This is a n example of how professionalism was portrayed through my appearance.

Objective 2: Employ analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills when providing care to individuals and families in the community setting. I was able to utilize my critical thinking skills when I noticed that one of my clients seemed totally subdued by an illness but kept telling me that she was fine. I quickly alerted the professor, who then called the RN present and the patient was safely transported to the emergency room for a further medical evaluation. As nurses it is imperative that we think on our feet since a patient’s status may change in seconds and if we are not quick enough we may miss it.

Objective 3:Effectively communicate with diverse groups and disciplines using a variety of strategies regarding the health needs of individuals and families in the community setting. Prior to working with the individuals and families within this community, I recognized the need to do some research on the various cultural backgrounds present. I was able to understand certain gestures and body language even though it was not part of my daily practices. For example, I discovered that many African cultures are taught not to challenge authority and as a result they do not give eye contact when spoken to. I recognized that this was a cultural norm and it did not mean that they were uninterested in the conversation.

Objective 4: Establish an environment conducive to learning and use a plan for learners based on evidenced- based practice. We engaged in a teaching session on diabetes. Our decision on what topic to select was based on our extensive research. Diabetes is a big problem in this minority community. We ensured that the clients were comfortable before beginning the session. We taught on three aspects of the disease; prevention, decreasing the incidence of comorbidities and control. At the end of our teaching we gave the clients an opportunity to ask questions. They were also treated to many healthy goodies.

Objective 5: Utilize informational technology when managing individuals and families within the community. As part of our screening process we used the glucometer to determine clients blood glucose levels. We also utilized computers and a projector as a means of getting the information across to the clients. Client’s names were also stored in the hospital’s system as a way to follow up with them.

Objective 6: Demonstrate a commitment to professional development. During my clinical experience, I recognized the importance of evidenced- based practice. EPB is an “interdisciplinary approach to clinical practice.” It consists of a collaborative effort by all health care disciplines. We employed EBP through our extensive research of the community. I also saw the need to use ongoing research  in the nursing discipline since it is one of the ways a registered nurse can progress professionally.

Objective 7: Incorporate professional nursing standards and accountability into practice. At our clinical site, I treated everyone with courtesy irrespective of race, gender or economic background. With the help of my professor and classmates, I operated with the hospital’s and school’s policy. We also handled patient’s information in a professional manner and were careful not o violate HIPPA. I also carried myself in a manner that would honor the nursing profession

Objective 8: Collaborate with clients, significant support persons and members of the health care team. I had the privilege of working with the entire healthcare team. the team consisted of physicians, social workers, RN’S, professor and the patients. Not only did we educate the patients but we also showed the family the importance of being a good form of support. The patients who had high readings were set up with a further consultation by the doctor. We were successfully able to involve the entire healthcare team as a way of ensuring that the well being of the client was a top priority.

Objective 9: Recognize the impact of economic, political, social and demographic forces that affect the delivery of health care services. The community we studied fell into the minority category. Individuals are not educated on the many services available to them. The also lack the necessary funds to perform annual check ups and as a result they only visit the hospital for the control of the disease as opposed to the prevention. I also made an observation that the only food readily available in the area was fast food. The residents consume it because it is easily accessible and relatively cheap. As a nurse I recognized the health disparity and was able to educated as many patients as I came into contact with.

In conclusion, I believe that this course was able to broaden my knowledge about many other aspects of nursing. I never took community nursing seriously and was stunned by the statistics and other data we discovered as a group. It is important as a nurse to know the community that you are affiliated with since it would improve the patient care rendered

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