This paper examines the outcomes of learning and experiences that I gained in the course of my Associate Degree in Nursing Program. The paper takes a keen interest in analyzing the experiences that I gained in safe patient-centered care, caring for behavior, communication techniques, clinical judgment, collaboration, and leadership.
Safe Patient-Centered Care
Safe patient-centered care refers to the process of providing health care services to patients with a key objective to meet their health demands and ensure that they get satisfaction from the services offered to them. All healthcare workers strive to give their undivided attention to their respective patients. The major aim is to ensure that patients fully recover from their illnesses and derive some satisfaction from the care given to them. In the course of my Associate Degree Nursing Program, I was able to gain clinical experience. Patient-centered care is one of the services that I offered with much passion and commitment. I actively interacted with patients, staff members, and the clinic’s administration body (Arnold & Boggs, 2015). I learned that, for effective and satisfactory services, I had to follow the nursing principles and values. Therefore, I have incorporated into my work the consideration that all healthcare workers are caregivers. This view has helped me and my coworkers in providing professional services to all patients.
I have also learned that healing does not occur instantly. Patients take time to recover from their illnesses after receiving medical care. It is, therefore, important that I establish a professional relationship with patients to enable me to carry out a follow-up of their healing processes. I worked hard to ensure that the type of care offered to patients was in line with their tastes, values, and demands. An effective safe patient-centered care demands a clean environment that does not comprise the healing process of patients (Wang, Hailey, & Yu, 2011). To achieve this, I realized that I needed to give my patients emotional support by counseling and encouraging them to have a peaceful mind that would enhance the process of healing. During my practice, I participated in the community and voluntary activities that provided me with more time of contact with patients. The activities also gave me numerous opportunities to practice my skills in providing services to different patients. In several occasions, I anticipated the needs of patients and worked out ways to help them. I never failed to remind myself that patient safety should always be my number one priority under all circumstances.
Caring behaviors are the features that nurses are required to put into practice while offering services to patients. They are expected to show some sense of passion and care to their patients. For instance, nurses should learn to be good listeners, pay attention to the needs and demands of the patients, show respect, and provide a wide range of information that will assist patients in decision making. Nurses should learn to show responsibility and sensitivity to patients as well. Calling patients by their names, showing them directions within the hospital premises, helping too weak patients to walk around the hospital are some of the caring behaviors that are expected from nurses (Wolf, Giardino, Osborne, & Ambrose, 2012). Moreover, they may try to soothe and calm their patients by touching them while making consultations.
I had experienced an occasion during my field practice that required me to illustrate my caring behaviors as a nurse. I was taking my rounds in a hospital in Memphis when a patient started weeping because his family members could not afford the cost of the hospital bills. She was giving up the fight for her life because she felt that she had become a sort of a burden to her family. I comforted her and listened to her explanation of the situation. I also offered the patient various options for raising money for such expenses. I encouraged her to be strong and have faith in herself. When she recovered from her emotional breakdown, she appreciated my assistance to her. I was impressed with myself because I had just put into practice the values that I had learned during my Associate Degree Program (Smith, Wolf, & Turkel, 2012).
The nursing profession puts much emphasis on developing and maintaining a good communication system between patients and their caregivers. Nurses should learn and accept that patients are the most delicate persons that they have to deal with throughout their profession. Therefore, good communication skills and techniques are paramount to their practice. Communication is essential for a successful outcome of personalized nursing care to patients. Nurses should, therefore, demonstrate a good sense of confidentiality, sincerity, courtesy, and kindness. Some of the essential basics of communication include proper timing, accuracy, and the mode through which communication is conducted (Smith & Turkel, 2012). While communicating with patients, nurses should ensure that patients are comfortable with them and offer adequate space that protects their privacy. For instance, in a mental hospital, nurses should practice proper therapeutic communication techniques in finding out the problems that respective patients have and find skills that will help them cope with the situations.
It involves decision making that is geared towards providing solutions to problems that arise in the process of offering nursing care to patients. It is based on the needs and responses of patients. Clinical judgment assists nurses in making sound decisions that do compromise the health conditions of their patients. It also helps in limiting the chances of making mistakes while offering health care to patients. For instance, during my practice, I took care of a patient who was admitted to the ICU following an accident that he was involved in with other family members. Given that he was the only one surviving, I had to keep the information from him till he achieved a stable health condition (McSherry, MSherry, & Watson, 2012). It worked effectively to avoid more complications that would have resulted.
Collaboration among nurses requires deliberate sharing of knowledge and responsibility in taking care of patients. It helps nurses offer quality services because they assist each other in managing their duties. Collaboration also enhances sharing information and conducting discussions that help nurses find effective solutions to problems that they face in caring for patients (Smith, Wolf, & Turkel, 2012). Collaboration helps in setting goals, sharing responsibilities, and problem-solving. During my practice, I witnessed a great deal of collaboration among nurses and doctors in the operation room. I watched them share responsibilities and coordinate duties, and I was inspired.
Leadership is the ability to influence other people to follow your beliefs and way of action. Effective nursing leadership calls for a commitment to duty, building a culture of service, focus on patient satisfaction, and accountability (Arnold & Boggs, 2015). This type of leadership incorporates nursing values for its success. For instance, during my practice, I learned so much from charge nurses as they delegated duties and ensured that they were performed effectively.
I have learned much in my nursing practice. I have learned that the most important thing to be a successful nurse is passion and setting priorities. Sound decision making, collaboration, and responsibility are essential qualities of a nurse. Now I feel that I am ready for the profession of nursing and I can also contribute to delivering quality services to patients and the community.