During Fall 2017, it was my privilege to act as a community nurse. This assessment evaluates my nursing performance and is an integral component of my development as a caregiver.
Objective 1: Demonstrates individual professionalism through personal behaviors and appearance
A nurse’s appearance and behavior establish the tone and respect for the nursing profession and for the patients. Dressing professionally was essential towards conveying my esteem for this profession, so I wore business casual clothes. I made certain to be punctual so as to avoid missing pertinent material that was presented in pre-conference and so as to ensure that all of the goals set for the clinical day could be met in a prompt fashion. One of the most important features of the profession is the nurse’s relationship with the patient, which should be sincere and trustworthy. I made a promise to my clients to hold their personal information in strictest confidence – and in this manner, I developed a trust and a bond with them.
Objective 2: Employ analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills when providing care to individuals and families in the community setting
When providing care to clients, the initial step that must be taken is assessment. During this phase, I measured blood pressure, checked the pulse rate, calculated BMI, and spoke with clients in order to uncover any potential concerns or apprehensions. The most frequently expressed area of concern was the medication regimen. Patients that I encountered had been prescribed multiple medications to manage hypertension, but they were not well informed about potential side effects. My priority was to ensure that clients could understand the nature of their condition, and that they would follow their prescribed medication regimen. Then, I discussed the major side effects of the medications. During this process, the major barrier I faced was language because many of the clients spoke Creole, and I had to ask my classmate to translate for me. In order to evaluate how effective my teaching was, I made certain to follow-up with the clients during our next encounter. Most clients indicated that they understood their medication regimen better at this point.
Objective 3: Effectively communicate with diverse groups and disciplines using a variety of strategies regarding the health needs of individuals and families in a community setting
In my clinical experience, I used a number of therapeutic communication techniques. These included active listening, asking open-ended questions, maintaining eye contact, and being reflective in order to comprehend the information that clients gave. I paid close attention to my body language and made sure to avoid excessive gestures.
Objective 4: Establish environment conducive to learning and use a plan for learners based on evidence-based practice
The environment is an important component of the client’s ability to receive new information: if there is a quiet well-lit space with no background noise or other distractions, then it will be possible for patients to concentrate and give their full attention to the information being presented. Moreover, if a nurse does not work to make the environment calm, comfortable, and conducive to talking and listening, this could come off to patients as lack of caring and discourage them. The nurse’s self-presentation is also a part of the surroundings. I took all of the aforementioned factors into consideration while working with my clients.
The immigration status of many of the seniors who visit the Lady of Refuge pantry precludes them having access to adequate healthcare. A good many of them have chronic conditions, and it is crucial that they be educated on its proper management. My clinical group gave an informative session on the way in which blood pressure and physical activity are related.
Objective 5: Utilize informational technology when maintaining individual and families in the community
Information accessibility is of great use to nurses. It allowed me to use the Skyscape app to look up medications that the clients had questions about. We had blood pressure machines to accurately measure this crucial vital sign. This data was recorded on a special form along with the patient’s personal information, and the form was kept in strict confidence.
Objective 6: Demonstrate a commitment to professional development
My clinical experience taught me a great amount, and I understand that during my life I will need to be inquisitive to gain knowledge that will help me to be successful. I will be responsible for staying abreast of the most current evidence-based practice and research in order to give the best quality care to my patients. Self-reflection can assist me with the identification of my strengths and limitations so I can constantly improve and move forward in my nursing practice.
Objective 7: Incorporate professional standards and accountability into practice
It is the responsibility of the nurse to deliver competent, safe, culturally sensitive and evidence-based care to patients no matter what their socioeconomic status, culture, race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation is. During my clinical rotation, I treated the seniors that I worked with in an equal and fair manner by keeping an open and non-judgmental mind. The main principle that guides my behavior when I care for my clients is that I must treat others the way that I would like to be treated. As a nurse, I must have one purpose in mind at all times, and that is to act within the best interests of the patients. During my clinical rotations, I made a point of presenting an open and friendly attitude to clients while doing my best to meet their needs and being accountable for my actions.
Objective 8: Collaborate with clients, significant support persons and members of the health care team
I did not have the opportunity to work directly with the healthcare providers, but I communicated with them indirectly through the clients. An example of this is a patient with hypertension for whom the healthcare provider prescribed antihypertensive medications. As a nurse, my role was to continue along the path initiated by the physician and to elaborate on the regimen that was prescribed. In this regard, I explained to the clients the importance of taking their medications at the appropriate time on daily bases.
An additional important aspect of patient care is having a system of support. Unfortunately, many of my clients had no such support systems, were lonely and needed an empathetic ear. As part of the care that I delivered, I listened to their stories with care and empathy.
Objective 9: Recognize the impact of economic, political, social, demographic forces that affect the delivery of health care services
The main step in the nursing process is an assessment of the major barriers to a healthy lifestyle. At my clinical site, two of the main barriers that seniors faced were finances and immigration status. As already abnormally high rent prices continue to rise, seniors who exist on a fixed and limited income become unable to afford the cost of a living space. Moreover, healthy food choices are not always available for seniors, so they have no choice but to instead consume cheap and non-nutritious foods that lead to the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Finally, many clients did not have health insurance. I advised them on how to best meet their nutritional needs while still being able to make ends meet, and also distributed fliers containing information on free immigration and healthcare services.