Reflective APA Paper
As a nursing student, I experienced personal and professional growth throughout the BSN program. I acquired a great deal of knowledge that I believe is important for my career improvement and progress as a nurse. I had the opportunity to put into practice the theory which I had learned in class, an element which is critical to the nursing field. I experienced the most growth with regards to realizing culturally competent healthcare for various individuals and groups in society (SLO outcome 6). On the other hand, I faced the greatest struggle in getting acquainted with the numerous levels of healthcare advocacy in different situations (SLO outcome 7).
Effecting a health promotion care plan which is culturally competent is one of the areas that I experienced the highest growth. Cultural competence involves understanding the believes, values, and patients’ diverse ways of life which might be different from yours. By doing so, health disparities among individuals who practice various cultures are prevented or become minimized. The reason why I feel that I had the most progress in this area as far as personal and professional growth is concerned is that initially, I was worried about what I would do if I had to attend to a patient (s) who had different beliefs from mine. I used to be scared that I might not be able to accommodate other people’s worldviews since I would not like my beliefs to be compromised, especially those related to religion. Nevertheless, being exposed to various situations where I was supposed to cater to the health needs of culturally diverse populations made me realize that individuals’ differences should not interfere with the plan of care. No matter what, every life is valuable and everyone should receive quality care.
I recall one scene where I was administering treatment to a population that had little faith in modern medicine during a community outreach program. The group had used traditional treatment methods such as herbs but the disease which had struck them had failed to ease with these techniques, leaving many of them dead and others severely sick. Regardless of the situation, many of them had refused to take the medication that we offered. I demonstrated cultural competence by educating the population on the importance of taking the drugs to manage the condition. While doing so, I would hell the members of the community that I understood and appreciated their points of view and how traditional healing techniques were important to them. Even though it took longer than it should have, most members of this group of people were convinced and eventually accepted to receive the medications I and my team members were giving them. In this situation and many others which were similar, I was highly motivated by the nursing ethical principles which I also consider as a strength.
Throughout the BSN program, I learned about beneficence and veracity, among other ethical codes that nurses should adhere to. As for beneficence, it means doing good and what is right to the patient. This principle impacted my practice and enabled me to administer a culturally competent healthcare plan for society. For instance, I would say that if I was not capable of obeying beneficence, I would not have made any efforts to convince individuals in the above example to take drugs. Instead, I would have left them to die since they had initially refused the treatment. However, knowing that I could save their lives, my team and I had to try and educate and persuade them to accept the medications, and this was a good act for them and their well-being.
Exploring the existing levels of healthcare advocacy in different situations is an area that I encountered a lot of struggle. This is mainly because patients’ advocacy had proven to be a bit challenging even though I had learned more about it in class. Given that it is not something which has been comprehensively described, I found it hard to find out about the various levels of advocacy which exists. By this, I mean that not all the situations that occur have been explored and how nurses should handle them can be manipulated by multiple factors. For instance, in the community setting, I encountered challenges in identifying the level of advocacy in community settings. There are many vulnerable people in the society who cannot access healthcare due to various circumstances such as lack of finances, lack of caretakers or knowledge on what to do to receive care. Finding these people was a struggle as I had to carry out a lot of research in the community and rely on informatics who would sometimes lie. At other times, this kind of people would hide.
Plan of continued improvement
Since knowledge of healthcare advocacy is a crucial element in the field of nursing, I need to improve in this area for the sake of professional growth as a nurse. I will volunteer with the hospital near my community as a healthcare advocate and I am sure I will be exposed to situations where I will explore various levels of healthcare advocacy. In addition, I plan on taking more classes in this area so that I can have a better understanding of the concept of healthcare advocacy and what I should expect.
Reflective practice background
I recall a patient who was wanted to be put on opioids to manage his pain. As a nurse, I was responsible for doing what is good for the patient. I was supposed to advise the patient on whether it was the right thing to do to use opioids for his condition. I felt that giving the drugs to the patient was not necessary as the pain could be managed using alternative pain killers. The advantage of doing as the client had asked was that he would have been satisfied and autonomy respected. Nevertheless, giving opioids to the patient would have put him at risk of drug-dependency. I had the choice of consulting with other physicians who would help me decide whether it was necessary to give opioids to the patient. Based on this experience, I learned that it is important to adhere to the code of conduct. This event also improved my level of courage as I have become more believing in myself and what I do.
How to use the reflective practice in my nursing routine and professional growth and advocacy
Since I learned about the importance of respecting the nursing code of conduct I will use this lesson to excel in clinical practice. Patients have the right to make medical decisions but as a nurse, I have the authority to do what is good for them. In addition, having the courage and believing in oneself is important for career development (Adeniran, et al. 2013). I will ensure that I perform my duties as a nurse without doubting myself as it is one way to advance my career. More so, I will also volunteer to offer healthcare services in the community since I believe that there are people in the society who have been marginalized.
Adeniran, R. K., Smith-Glasgow, M. E., Bhattacharya, A., & Yu, X. U. (2013). Career advancement and professional development in nursing. Nursing outlook, 61(6), 437-446.