Nursing Practicum Journal Entries

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Week 8: Adult patients-18 years and older

My practicum experiences for week 8 involved dealing with adult patients with multiple health problems in a program aimed to promote health. The practicum journal entry focuses on the health promotion program of preventing against and also living with diabetes. The essay provides a reflection on the practicum experiences and their relationship to the professional goals and self-assessment of the personal clinical skills identified.

Nurse practitioners have a role of providing primary health care services that include health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis, and treatment of the chronic and acute illness in a health care setting (Buppert, 2015). In my practicum experience, I had an opportunity of working with other care providers to sensitize the local community about diabetes. The major areas of focus were on different types of diabetes, the risk factors, and the appropriate types of intervention. The program involved assembling the adult community members in a preferred facility and advising them on how to address the increasing prevalence of diabetes. From the informative sessions organized, the major types of diabetes discussed were type 1 and type 2. The community members were informed of the underlying factors to each disorder and later screening.

It was also necessary to sensitize the community members of the risk factors to diabetes. Under the category, the major factors identified were overweight that leads to obesity, poor diets and adopting a sedentary lifestyle. The major types of intervention discussed include lifestyle changes, maintaining a healthy weight, and performing physical exercises (Spencer, Rosland, et. al., 2011).

The practicum experience helped to fulfill the professional goals of a nurse practitioner in health promotion and disease prevention. The focus on diabetes as a chronic disease is a major priority in health promotion amongst other illnesses. I acquired skills in dealing with patients from diverse social, cultural backgrounds and with different illnesses. The practicum experience was effective in meeting the nursing care goal of enhancing the quality of life through meeting the primary care needs of patients.

Week 9: Practicum Journal

For week 9, my practicum experience regarded dealing with adult patients in a counseling session organized by the healthcare facility administrator. As a nurse practitioner, I have a significant role in ensuring that the community within my practice locality has access to information on how to live a healthy life and also prevent against the adverse health conditions (Schiff, 2012). The population of interest for the counseling session is breastfeeding women and those in the childbearing span. The health care administration observed that many women had limited knowledge about the benefits of breastfeeding to children and also the need to do it for the recommended period. There were many health problems subjected to children due to the lack of proper breastfeeding and also a lack of access to information about it. As such, it was important to have counseling sessions organized by the care practitioners to sensitize the ladies about the benefits and how to undertake to breastfeed.

From the counseling sessions, it was evident that many women regarded breastfeeding as a routine practice without significant impact on the health of the baby. As such, they never laid the required emphasis on the issue that resulted in many health care problems.

The practicum experience for the week was a major contribution to the enhancement of my clinical skills in handling the community health issues. As a primary care provider, I ought to have the necessary skills in identifying the community health needs and enacting strategies to address them. The experience helped to acquire skills in effective communication with patients as well as enhance my nursing professional skills. I acquired the practical skills of dealing with patients in a real-life setting.

Week 10: Practicum Journal

My practicum experience for week 10 involved working closely with other health care providers in offering primary care services to patients with multiple illnesses. The focus of the journal entry lies in a case of a male patient who visited the health facility for a follow up on prostate cancer. It is important for cancer patients to attend to all the follow-up appointments where the physician does the exams and lab tests to check for treatment side effects.

For the patient, I checked the symptoms or treatment side effects and other problems that arose. I assessed the physical, social, and emotional needs of the patient since the previous treatment period. Also conducted is the PSA blood test that measures the amount of protein (Prostate specific antigen) in the blood (Schröder, Hugosson, et. al., 2012).The patient was embarrassed to talk about some side effects like erection issues which I encouraged him to be open since it’s normal.

I found the week’s practicum experience to be effective in enhancing my clinical skills in handling diverse health problems. As a nurse practitioner, I have a mandate of meeting the increasing primary care health needs. Thus, it is mandatory to keep updated with information about the different health problems that affect people. The practicum experience enhanced my skills in handling patient information and also using it to address the health-related needs. For the patient with prostate cancer, it was easy to follow-up on the treatment plan due to the skills acquired throughout the previous weeks’ practicum experiences. I observed that many patients have a total trust on the practitioner, and thus, it is important to be aware of their expectations and meet them as required. The practitioner experience helped in relating the classroom studies about adults’ health problems and the real-life practice sessions at the health facility.

 

References

Buppert, C. (2015). The employed nurse practitioner: In Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice     and Legal Guide (5th ed.) (323 – 336). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Schiff, M. (2012). The role of nurse practitioners in meeting increasing demand for primary          care;

Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/government-affairs/NGA-Nurse-Practitioner-   Paper.pdf

Schröder, F. H., Hugosson, J., Roobol, M. J., Tammela, T. L., Ciatto, S., Nelen, V., … & Denis,    L. J. (2012). Prostate-cancer mortality at 11 years of follow-up: New England Journal of            Medicine, 366(11), 981-990.

Spencer, M. S., Rosland, A. M., Kieffer, E. C., Sinco, B. R., Valerio, M., Palmisano, G., … &       Heisler, M. (2011). The effectiveness of a community health worker intervention among           African American and Latino adults with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial.           American Journal of Public Health, 101(12), 2253-2260.

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