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My Potential To Obtain A Bachelor’s Degree In Nursing

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I truly believe that the desire to help people through nursing is a calling. I am drawn to help people every single day and nursing is the best way I can give back to society while also feeling fulfilled. I believe that every patient is special and has a story.

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My belief is that every patient deserves nonjudgmental care regardless of race, spiritual beliefs, lifestyle choices, financial status, or disability. My philosophy is that nurses have a responsibility to the public to be an advocate for the patient by encouraging them to have a stake in their own care by setting obtainable goals that will bring confidence to the patient in their care plan. As nurses we are entrusted with a patient’s most vulnerable moments and are committed to honoring that with the utmost professionalism and confidentiality. We must educate patients and their families on diseases, treatments, and healthy behaviors in order to improve their outcomes. Nurses have a commitment to keep current in knowledge and skills by continual learning evolving professionally through evidence-based practice and technological advances. I will always continue learning. I learn every day from interactions with other members of the healthcare team and by being involved in the experiences of the patients and their families.

My personal core values and beliefs as an individual are integrity, honesty, kindness, continual learning, commitment, family, and success in achieving my goals. The focus of nursing is on patient needs, patient healing, patient safety, and patient empowerment and I believe that my personal and professional philosophies are congruent because my personal values overlap the driving forces behind the core of nursing. The qualities that make a good nurse cannot be turned off at the end of shift, but are part of me as a person, and I carry them with me always. As nurses, we can do our part to improve the image of the nursing profession through daily work ethics as well as involvement in the community, political, and professional nursing organizations. Ideally all nurses work together as a team to collaborate to maximize the patient’s health potential on the illness-wellness continuum. Communication is so important in nursing from the charting, to the nurse to nurse dialog, to the communication to the patient and patients loved ones. Being positive in communication also translates from my positive outlook on life, my enthusiasm for life, and the ability to offer hope to patients and their families. The contribution I hope to make to nursing in the future is being a trainer and mentor, and be an inspiration to others to enter into the nursing profession.

In reading the American Association of Colleges of Nursing “Baccalaureate Essentials for Nursing Practice” Standard I – A Liberal Education for the Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice, I’ve identified several interesting assumptions and conclusions. In reading further into this we learn that by design the courses that we will be taking will encourage us to question the norm to better evaluate the reason behind various assumptions. We will also be exposed to diverse perspectives of understanding our own self and others leading to more complete patient care. Going through this program will also allow for us all to be able to adapt to change and more importantly as we grow in our careers, implement the changed needed to keep up with the times, technology, and ever changing patient population. Lastly, what I intend to learn from these courses I am about to endure is the different cultural and social factors that are different for each part of the world. The world is larger than just our area, our state, and our country. I hope to continue to be vigilantly aware of the many differences we all have experienced, lived with and believe in which will be invaluable to my growth in my critically thinking, pursuit of patient advocacy and drive to bring best practices to my profession. Since this is the beginning of my baccalaureate program I have not taken other liberal arts courses yet in my academic career. I have earned two associates degrees thus far; one in occupational therapy assistant and one in nursing. I started a philosophy class a few weeks ago and is has been quite an eye opening experience to me. To be honest it has been quite stressful these first few weeks, but the more I begin to read and explore throughout these classes the more it is making sense to why these classes are required to obtain the baccalaureate status. From reading more articles and the chapters throughout my textbooks I’ve realized these classes will teach me to look at things through a more open mind and help me think in a more creative and clinical way. “A solid base in liberal educations provides the distinguishing cornerstone for the study and practice of professional nursing”.

When searching for articles on liberal arts I wasn’t sure what I was going to find. I am currently an oncology RN and as I was looking for articles on liberal arts I started thinking about my daily nursing experiences. Several days of the week we have a certified musical therapist come to our floor and give therapy to our patients. The music therapist will call the RN’s zone phone to ask if we have any assigned patients that are suffering from pain, anxiety, or depression. Within my daily nursing shift I usually identify at least one or two patients that would benefit from the music therapist. These patients have the right to refuse these services, but patients rarely turn down the opportunity for music therapy on the oncology floor. After the music therapists is done in my particular patients rooms I usually check in with them to see how it went. The patients cannot believe how relaxing and enjoyable the experiences are. I have patients go on and on about how great of a job she does and how they can’t believe that she knew the songs that they wanted her to play. The article I that I read with this thought in mind was one that interviewed patients undergoing some form of cancer treatment like chemotherapy, radiation, or stem cell transplant. This study was not only performed in the United States, but also in Iran, Taiwan, China, and Italy. The study measured different variables post-musical therapy including the patients report of decreased anxiety, vital signs, pain relief, and quality of life. To my surprise there were conflicting outcomes where about half of the select population didn’t have a big change in anxiety and quality of life.

Later in the article they explained that the choice of music compared to just playing music could be explained for the null findings. The researchers believe that if the patient has the option to use music from their own choice rather than a random selection that the reduction in anxiety and quality of life would be increased. Within the study it also concluded that just listening to any music reduced emotional anxiety, not just the Autonomic Nervous System part of anxiety. In the conclusion of the article researchers believed that music therapy definitely has its benefits, especially in oncology patients. I found this article extremely interesting because I have never had a patient report back to me that the music therapy had no impact on them. I definitely encourage my patients to participate in the therapy time.

The next article that I found was on hospitalized children expressing themselves through expressive art. I chose this article because at some point in my nursing career I would really like to work with children. This article discusses how the hospital has a specific play therapy room for children who are hospitalized. The study focused on three different themes of potential impact. The first theme was on the children’s feelings of fear and anxiety; the second theme was measuring the children’s perception of powerlessness; and the third theme measured was longing. These children are allowed to go to the play area whenever they would like. In this play area, there is clay to mold and art in the room so that the children have a way to express themselves. “Play has been used as a method of forming a therapeutic alliance with a sick child”. Play is where children are allowed to express themselves freely. The article also suggests if you’re going to be preparing the child for an invasive procedure the best way to prepare for that is, play therapy. In all three themes measured the article mentions that the study reveals that these expressive arts can be yet another way in understanding how the child is feeling about being in the hospital for treatment. “Children do not always express emotional pain by crying, sleepless-ness, or decreased communication. Therefore, expressive arts should be used to help children express and master their feelings. ”

I think as nurses we sometimes get wrapped up in the moment and we have such busy schedules that we may try to rush through our everyday tasks. When I begin to work with children, or just working with my everyday patients, this article will be a great reference and reminder to slow down and take into consideration that children aren’t great at expressing themselves and that they need that play time too to prepare themselves for their next medical procedure. In conclusion even though the school work may seem tough and unnecessary I truly know that taking these classes will make me into a more well-rounded individual who is successful in the nursing profession, thinking more critically at every juncture. Because of my liberal arts education when finished I know I will be a better abstract thinker, prepared leader, and comprehensive writer. I’ve enjoyed coming out of my comfort zone thus far in my baccalaureate program. Even though I am at the very beginning of the program I know that this program is making me a stronger nurse for my patients. I am excited and a bit scared of this journey, but I know it will all be worth it at the end of the program. A baccalaureate degree is something that I always wanted for my career.

15 July 2020

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