Pursuing medical sciences has always been my lifetime dream from a young age when I would nurse my playmate's wounds. This is why I decided to follow my passion and pursue a course in medical sciences, and thereafter work to alleviate patient's pain and save lives. So far I have been able to learn and apply a lot of skills including the ability to work independently as well as interpersonal skills through working with others to achieve success as a team. My public speaking skills have also improved due to the oral and visual presentations expected at the end of each unit. In my study of behavioral sciences, I have learned that it aims at increasing my understanding of human behavior as well as giving insight into the factors that influence human behavior (Stewart-Brown, 2006 p. 7).
Studying the factors that influence human behavior has been quite challenging since people are different in many ways, they also have varying tastes and preferences and are faced with different circumstances. Human behavior may be influenced by biology through genes and neurotransmitters, by one's environment and social factors. It is important for medical practitioners to uphold professional ethics in their line of duty, this is where I have learned the importance of respecting my patients' privacy and maintaining confidentiality, in addition to preserving integrity. Patient's information should be handled in accordance with standards of ethics, law, and organizational policy. We have further studied health promotion which involves raising the health status of individuals and communities (Bandura, 2004 p. 20). Promotion in this context refers to the process of making better, improving and progressing. It involves placing the health of community members above all other public agendas. World Health Organization defines health promotion as increasing peoples control over their health, so as to come to a complete state of physical, mental and social wellness altogether.
Among the steps to that should be made to promote health include improving housing as well as surveillance and monitoring of diseases and risk factors to reduce disease prevalence (Bandura, 2004 p.5). Health promotion is not only the role of medics, it goes a long way to empower individuals to be in control of their own health. Finally, health promotion should embrace different strategies including community development, policy development, legislation, and education to ensure that it becomes successful (Stewart-Brown, 2006 p. 16).
Anatomy refers to the study of the body structure. Man has always been fascinated by the interior and functions of his body. Study of anatomy allows students to understand man’s general body make up and how it functions. Among the basic structures studied include the skin, which covers the entire body. Its functions include protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays, chemical and mechanical damage, it also allows the body to experience sensations such as pain, temperature and touch in addition to performing metabolic functions like vitamin D synthesis. It is composed of three layers; dermis, epidermis and the hypodermis. Other concepts of anatomy studied include the fascia, bone structure, muscles and tendons and nerves. Understanding man’s body make up is essential for medical practitioners since it helps them handle patients in the best way possible and work professionally. Patients should be accorded a lot of care, so as not to feel neglected. In addition, medical practitioners should pay equal attention to each patient to avoid discrimination. Patients do not only feel good after their health improves, they also appreciate the fact that they are granted enough attention and care, which is why when dealing with different patients I give my best to make sure they are fully satisfied.
Pursuing a medical course in class is one thing, while practically applying the knowledge to patients is another. Many individuals are able to successfully attain their degrees in school, however, they fail to properly understand their patients. My first time to deal with patients was quite challenging, although I went with an open mind and with the general knowledge I was not aware of what to expect. Nevertheless, the fact that I was passionate and pursuing my dream gave me hope that regardless of the challenges that I face in my line of duty, I would be able to overcome them. Seeing patients being released out of the hospital in better and improved conditions compared to when they were admitted gave me more strength to continue living my dream.
The feeling of impacting someone's life positively is one I cannot exchange for anything in my entire life, from the little gestures such as playing the piano for a bored patient or making a cup of coffee for another in the cold weather to the great ones like saving a life. The experience of a medical practitioner does not only help the patient, it also plays a great role in opening one's eyes to problems and solutions that were unclear hitherto. I have interacted and dealt with many patients under different circumstances, many of which are unforgettable. Nevertheless, these experiences present themselves with their fair share of challenges and critical decision making, stress and ethical issues that are unavoidable.
Working in an acute mental unit has not always been easy, it's a tough and challenging job, however, being passionate about one's patients' and the desire to see their health improve is what has always kept me going. Patients are usually admitted to an acute psychiatric unit once they show signs of being disturbed, vulnerable and mentally ill (Giandinoto and Edward 2014, pp 728). These patients require skilled and competent professionals to assist them to deal with their illnesses and fully recover. Mental health victims tend to be suicidal, aggressive, restlessness and have challenges in grief management and as a result requiring special care and attention. Consequently, mental health patients are more vulnerable to physical illnesses and injuries compared to people without the illness. Having to deal with this kind of patient’s poses a great risk to me and my co-workers, due to their aggressiveness one can easily be attacked and injured. Stigma and discrimination is another challenge that I have to deal with in my day to day activities.
Individuals suffering from mental health are mistaken to have brain damage yet this is not true, it is an illness just like any other and patient recover once given enough care and attention. Patients show signs of depression and anxiety and anyone can acquire it. I once interacted with a young girl barely fifteen whose parents had passed away and she was left in her uncle's care. The uncle was expected to be a guardian to the girl providing moral and financial support and ensuring that she attended school. Unfortunately, he turned out to abuse the girl both physically and sexually. She ended up running away from home, feeling unloved and not cared for and ended up in the mental health unit where I currently work. The girl needed to undergo therapy, and she would talk about express herself explaining all which she went through in the cruel hands of her uncle. By the end of one month, she showed a lot of improvement and was ready to go back to school. However, she was given medication and was expected to visit the mental unit once per week to have her progress followed up on. Mental health is critical and those suffering from it did not wish to, rather they conditioned led them to that, they often need a lot of support from their family members and a conducive, peaceful environment for them to recover.
Utilizing nursing research
Utilizing research in nursing provides the evidence required to support nursing practices. The results of research process provide a foundation on which practice decisions and behaviors are laid. At the same time, these results create a strong scientific foundation for practical nursing (Polit and Beck 2008 p. 45). Topics studied in nursing research aim at determining the disease risk and treatment through utilization of the details provided. It also aids in the determination of appropriate health-promotion approaches to patients and their families. In addition, it goes a long way to educate people on taking responsibility for fighting illnesses and promoting health and finally assisting in improving the conditions in which healthcare is provided. This research allows nurses to advocate for the patients' needs and provide better care. It is important to use evidence-based practice in nursing since it aims at providing the best medical care available, while at the same time putting the patients' interest first. During research in nursing enables the practitioners to understand the situation before practically dealing with patients. This enables them to know what to expect and therefore are better able to know how to solve challenges that they may face in their line of duty. The research is important since nurses play an important role in educating patients and their families on different aspects of their health (Polit and Beck 2008 p. 17).
The research process follows five systematic steps starting with location and the process of defining the issue at hand, the second step involves designing a research project. The third is collecting all the required data fourth, interpretation of the collected data and finally reporting the research findings.
The first step toward ensuring patient safety in a physician practice is creating an environment that supports teamwork and good communication (Whalley, M., 2001 p.3). The doctor, nurse, and physicians have to collaboratively work together, with constant communication to protect and secure the patients' lives. The more medical practitioners work together for effective communication and teamwork the higher the patient satisfaction. It also contributes to the rate at which the patients' health improves and lowers incidents of malpractice. Barriers to effective and collaborative teamwork include misinterpretation of issues, poor leadership, heavy workload, lack of enough time to meet and talk about the prevailing issues and even fatigue.
Health care assistance
My role as a health care assistance has always been to provide basic health for patients, working under the supervision of a nurse. The basic health care services include feeding patients, making their beds and sorting laundry as well as helping patients dress and use the toilet. In addition, I also take the patients readings, temperature, weight and pulse. This is work that I have always loved and perform diligently with a lot of pleasure and at the end of the day am pleased when I see my patients’ health improve. Furthermore, I am entitled to reassuring the patients that they will get better and comforting them as well as making them feel comfortable by always being there whenever needed. All these roles have to be performed collaboratively with nurses and other medical professionals taking instructions from them to ensure the general good of the patient.
I have worked with different patients and had different experiences as well ensuring that I provide high quality, effective and competitive care. I have assisted patients in their homes, hospitals and nursing homes. My best experience was when I got a chance to work in a nursing home with the aged, their wisdom amazed me and I always learnt a lot from them. We would talk a lot and every afternoon was always set aside for interaction where they’d share experiences and childhood memories I always enjoyed listening to them. I was entitled to making sure that their personal hygiene was well taken care of, especially because most of them were not able to move about on their own. I also had to check those whose health was deteriorating, ensuring they took proper medication and checking whenever their conditions changed.
Some of the patients were brought to the nursing home after being abandoned by their children and families to a point of depression. Getting them to open up was not easy but once they did, their conditions would drastically improve. Talking and letting out ones feelings is part of therapy and works best in improving depressed patients health therefore creating a good relationship with the patients is critical. I got a chance to reassure patients of their improvement, emotionally supporting them and giving them hope of a better future even in old their old age. I became successful in working with my patients through properly working with my superiors and taking instructions positively. In addition, I have always loved my work therefore I have a positive attitude towards any job that I take as well as being empathetic with my patients. Emotional strength has also been my strength since I have to be strong enough for my patients in addition to good communication skills.
I have always loved changing my patients' lives, and every time they are released from the hospital to go back to their normal lives, I feel that I have accomplished the goal that I set my mind on when I decided to pursue nursing. One such significant incident that will forever linger in my mind was during my internship when I was put in charge of a teenage girl born with autism, a condition that affects one's normal functioning of the brain and as a result, one faces difficulties with social interactions and communicating. Such patients require being around people who understand their repetitive behavior as well as those who are patient with them. The first week was tough since autistic patients tend to be shy and afraid of strangers. However, as we continued spending time together, Sally, got fond of me and was no longer afraid. With time, I was able to understand her moods and way of communicating, and she would express her fears and share her dreams with me. I used the interpersonal skills I had learned to understand her needs and enable her to open up to me more. The therapy sessions included reading short stories to her and playing the piano which she enjoyed and made her relax. Within a period of two months, Sally had greatly improved, her speech was way better and as her mother informed me she was able to perform light chores at home.
Sally's improvements served to prove stereotypes wrong those that autistic patients never amount to anything in life. By the time my internship period I had learned the struggles that autistic patients undergo alongside their families the costly medical bills and the society's negative perceptions are just but a few challenges faced. I knew Sally would have a challenge accepting that I had to leave which is why I prepared her early enough that a day would come when I would have to leave. Nevertheless, when the day came, the tears in her eyes broke my heart, she cried silently as I hugged her goodbye it was also painful for me but I promised to visit her more often even after my internship. This experience made my zeal to assist patients' increase, service to humanity and seeing my patients smile is all I could ever ask for.
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