Nurse E-Portfolio: Mid-Course Entry
This paper is being submitted on May 6, 2018, for Amanda Paulson-Myrblom’s NUR2092 Health Assessment course.
Nurse E-Portfolio: Mid-Course Entry
Knowledge and skills are the most important assets any person can possess. Refining both can provide the opportunity to master tasks and improve performance. The field of nursing is growing and the one thing that can be expected in a career in health care is the rapidly evolving role of nurses as they are tasked with wider range of responsibilities. As patients demand faster and more accurate access to treatment, the health care’s structure and incentives will become more patient centered driven to support the purpose of improving the health and functioning of the people. As the push for safe and higher quality patient care shifts healthcare in the direction of engaging in quality measurement that will benefit patients, the ability to identify the weaknesses and strengths of knowledge and skills I have for collecting health information will provide better implementation of health assessment for patients.
Knowing myself is the foundation of self-care and the basis for my relationship with the people in my life. I learned that taking the time to know myself and to reflect on how I handle situations that arise in my life is important for my own self-growth as well as improving the critical thinking skills of a nurse during a health assessment interview. By coming to know myself and each area of my life in career, religion, spirituality, and beliefs, this can positively enhance life for myself as a nurse and for those people that I provide care for. If I can keep an open mind and identify personal preferences, prejudices, bias, and misinformation in myself then I can avoid making decisions based on my own intuition and experience. Nursing deals not only with a person’s biological needs, but their psychological, psychosocial, and cultural needs as well. This knowledge was reiterated when I had the opportunity to conduct my own health history interview and my interviewee was brought to tears talking about the touching moments of her life. As a nurse, my attitude and perception can affect my ability to adequately establish care management to those who are experiencing the most vulnerable and significant moments in life.
I realized that to be caring to my patients, I must first approach myself with kindness and self-love. There is always going to be growth and improvement because cultivating kindness and love towards myself is difficult and never consistent. I am just beginning to make a conscious effort to remind myself daily that even when it does not feel like it, I am still doing my best on that day and under those circumstances. Therefore, similarly, others must be doing the same. Being able to grasp onto self-love and maintaining it through my years as a student and as a nurse, is the key to holding the confidence that there’s no failing in anything I do, only learning from it so that I can adjust my effort and try again to do better. This will guide me to become a nurse that can teach a person about his or her health state with positive behaviors and thoughts as well as being open to alternative viewpoints during the planning and treatment phases of assessment. Learning to perform acts of kindness, express gratitude, and meditate on positive feelings towards a person are all techniques that I have within me to convey respect, establish a trusting and supportive relationship during the health history interview. As illness can make a person feel discouraged and isolated, using skills I already have along with active listening, guided questioning, nonverbal communication, empathic responses, validation, reassurance, and summarization will empower the patient to feel connected with me, producing honest responses to health questions asked during assessment.
Getting enough hours of sleep a night and making leisure time to do things for no other reason than enjoyment are the easiest and fastest ways of completely transforming my ability to be able to make sound judgement. In nursing school and as a practicing nurse, being well rested will help me remain focused, flexible, and positive in bad times as well as good. Although life can feel a little overwhelming between schoolwork, working, and responsibilities at home, sleep is very important to help me maintain balance. Maintaining balance influences both how I interpret situations and how I react to them. It is very important to use effective listening skill to hear what a person says as well as pay attention to their non-verbal actions which reveals a lot about how they are really feeling. If the patient’s subjective cues do not coincide with the objective cues, then I should focus more on the objective cues. Also, facilitating the patient’s story, as a nurse, I will have to acquire the skills to generate a series of hypotheses about the nature of the patient’s concerns and then test them by asking for more detailed information. I learned to explore the patient’s feelings and beliefs about his or her problem by responding with open or closed-ended questions. It is important to recognize that as a nurse, to take care of my patients, I must first take care of myself.
There is no substitute for specific nursing knowledge which plays an important role in the quality of skills produced. There are many techniques to assess patients that I understand through reading but have not practiced the skills. That includes palpation, percussion, and auscultation. Many of the things I need to know to be a successful nurse are not learned simply through schooling. Much of what I need to know, I need to learn from training or personal experience. To be an exceptional nurse, the concepts I learn need to be combined and applied with real-world experience. Ultimately, collecting data and having the ability to determine a treatment plan and later to evaluate it is a professional nursing act in which every element of nursing care flows from. Every knowledge learned, whether big or small, will be one to help gain skills and improve the quality of my nursing career.
Reflecting from the beginning of the semester at Rasmussen College to now, I have gained many skills in collecting and assessment that is needed to fulfill my work responsibilities as a nurse. Becoming aware of not bringing my own values, assumptions, and biases to every encounter, the different forms of data collection, how I can exercise them, and why I need them in my nursing career is just the start of approach to knowledge management. Looking into the future, the effort required to get there is not simple, and I have many additional skills to learn. Overall, I have come to realize that if I am too tired from inadequate sleep or unhealthy from eating poor nutrition, I will likely be more reactive when faced with physically and emotionally challenged patients. Conversely, if I am taking good care of my body and mind, I can be more resilient toward whatever circumstances that comes, be able to use critical thinking along with the resources I have in my life to their fullest potential. Life’s only limitations are those I set upon myself, so I need to keep expanding my knowledge and skills to the limit of my life.