This professional capstone and practicum course is among the enjoyable units that I have had since it provided an avenue for me to gain insights concerning some of the current changes in the healthcare sector. With the recent changes in society, nurses are required to adapt to the ever-changing needs of patients and provide care that is tailored to meet individual patient needs (Scott et al., 2017). The continued expansion of different bodies of research, innovation, and technological advancement has provided an avenue where nurses can effectively manage varied medical conditions, leading to improved patient outcomes and improved health outcomes of different population groups. Apart from such aspects, nurses have also been at the front in steering various community activities whose primary aim is to educate the masses about how they can improve their health (Scott et al., 2017). With proper leadership skills and knowledge, nurses have high chances of leaving a positive impact in the different areas they work. Despite such aspects, nurses also experience different challenges in their various areas of operation. This essay, therefore, seeks to expand on the different elements that I gained during my professional practicum, including new approaches, interprofessional collaboration, healthcare delivery and clinical systems, population health concerns, leadership and economic modes, and health disparities, among others.
The changes in the healthcare sector have resulted in the emergence of new approaches to care delivery. One of the emerging approaches relates to using evidence-based guidelines when managing different conditions or when conducting a given medical procedure. When healthcare professions embrace evidence-based practices, it helps them provide the most effective care available, leading to improved patient outcomes. Despite the existence of various evidence-based resources, nurses still find it hard to locate the best resources to use (Scott et al., 2017). As a result, during this week, my preceptor taught me how to search for these resources in different library databases. I believe learning this skill will be of help in my future area of practice.
Before this practicum, I already had some background knowledge about the importance of interprofessional collaboration in delivering care. The concept of interprofessional collaboration denotes workers in an institution working together towards achieving a given set goal. At the end of the practicum, I learned that the healthcare sector has different professionals with different skills and experiences. Working collaboratively, therefore, lays a foundation for broadening one’s skills through resource sharing. With the emergence of the collaboration concept, different healthcare institutions are implementing it into practice. Some of the benefits of interprofessional collaboration include supporting an environment where an interdisciplinary team pulls their resources on a given patient, leading to improved outcomes (Bosch & Mansell, 2015).
Healthcare Delivery and clinical systems
The past decades have resulted in the healthcare systems undergoing various transformations hence the need to look into healthcare delivery and clinical systems. Healthcare delivery and clinical systems play vital roles in assisting healthcare institutions to sustain quality care which in the long run leads to improved patient outcomes (Pina et al., 2015). When discussing with my mentor, he noted that healthcare delivery systems constitute the internal and external components influencing how certain procedures are undertaken. As a result, for care to healthcare delivery to take place swiftly, there is a need to invest in communication infrastructure so that information can flow smoothly across different departments.
Ethical Considerations in healthcare
During my clinical practicums, I also gained new insights concerning the importance of following the stipulated ethical principles while delivering care. As a health practitioner, I must follow the specified moral values while providing care to different patients. Occasionally, most of the existing ethical standards of care are often determined by the professional code of ethics. However, nurses are responsible for ensuring that the care they give to different groups of patients is universally recognized.
Nurses experience different types of ethical dilemmas in their daily operations, with one of the common ones being respecting patient autonomy. Although this is one of the basic principles, the existing healthcare guidelines have also conflicted with this principle, leading to nurses overriding a patient’s wishes (Haddad et al., 2020). Although this is one of the ethical principles, healthcare professions need to ensure that they follow them. Failure to do so may result in legal issues, damaging an institution’s reputation (Haddad et al., 2020).
Practices of Culturally Sensitive Care
Nurses interact with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. As a result, it is essential to be culturally sensitive or avoid administering offensive or irreverent care in a given culture. When a nurse is culturally sensitive, they should strive to respond to different groups’ feelings, attitudes, and situations. By embracing cultural sensitivity, a nurse can effectively deliver quality care without discrimination. One of the primary ways nurses can be culturally sensitive is by being aware of the diverse cultures and not interacting with patients based on assumptions.
Population Health concerns
Nurses interact with different groups of vulnerable populations such as the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled, and children. Learning about the various health concerns of specific populations will lay a foundation for delivering quality care. The elderly are among the population at risk of contracting different medical conditions due to diminished immunity. Common medical conditions include hearing loss, cataracts, diabetes, depression, and memory loss (Tsuchiya et al., 2015). Nurses need to ensure that they provide care to this group without discrimination. However, with continued discrimination, most of these group mail fail to seek care, leading to their health conditions deteriorating further.
The Role of Technology in improving healthcare Outcomes
During ancient times, the health care sector relied on traditional methods of managing patients. However, the emergence of technology has led to improved health outcomes, an aspect that has been achieved due to the emphasis on patient safety. Before the advent of technologies, healthcare professions, including nurses, were prone to making mistakes, leading to poor patient outcomes. However, the emergence of Electronic medical records has provided room for reduced errors by facilitating care among the individuals attending to a given patient. Subsequently, the emergence of automated medical dispensers has also helped in the reduction of medication errors. Lastly, the emergence of surgical item detectors has also aided surgeons in detecting any retain items in a patient’s body before concluding a procedure. Based on such aspects, it is evident that technology has influenced the delivery of quality care leading to improved outcomes.
Before this practicum, I was not aware of health policies’ role in delivering care to patients from different religious and cultural backgrounds. However, my perception has changed after learning that health policies are essential in creating uniformity among healthcare providers since it helps to guide different decisions. When an institution has a healthcare policy, it aids in providing strategies that outline the standard procedures that should be followed when handling different clinical practices. A health policy offer offers guidance on how care should be given to a patient, including not discriminating against anyone and treating every patient equally. In collaboration with various governing bodies, healthcare institutions collaborate to formulate policies that will be beneficial to patients and the community at large.
Leadership and Economic model
During my first week of clinical practicum, I gained new insights concerning the role of leadership and economic models in healthcare institutions. Nurse leaders in healthcare institutions play major roles in enhancing the safety and quality of care given to patients. Such aspects can only be achieved by implementing effective communication and decision-making models (Loversidge, 2016). A healthcare institution that lacks proper leadership skills will, on most occasions, fail to meet the desired objectives hence leading to reduced productivity. However, when a healthcare institution has effective communication channels, most employees will always be motivated to seek clarification concerning what they are expected to do while working in the organization (Loversidge, 2016).
During operation, nurse leaders are required to implement various health policies. As a result, it is pivotal that they should embrace effective communication skills, discipline, and integrity. Doing so will be beneficial since it will enhance cooperation and the overall effectiveness of leadership management within an organization.
The primary contributing factors to health disparities includes socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, age, and location. Additionally, certain medical conditions are prone to men than to women, and this affects their overall health outcomes. The elderly are among the most disadvantaged in accessing quality care. This disparity has been contributed by the constant discrimination, leading to most of them contemplating suicide (Stoliker et al., 2020). During this practicum, I learned some of the basic methods that can be used to reduce disparities, including collaboration and establishing more healthcare facilities so that every person can access care in closer proximity.
Outline of Overall Personal Discovery
Undertaking this module has been beneficial since it has helped me learn about some of my strengths and weaknesses, especially regarding my operational and leadership skills. As a leader, it is crucial to collaborate with other members, especially in research and delivery of care. I believe I am always open to learning, and this can be achieved well through collaboration. However, one of my main weaknesses related to upholding all the ethical principles in care. This is attributed to the fact sometimes; I believe I have to deliver care that would lead to better outcomes regardless of whether the patient likes it or not.
In conclusion, this practicum has offered me insights concerning some of the changes that are taking shape in the healthcare sector. Some of the common changes include adopting evidence-practice which aids in improving the outcomes of different patients. Additionally, I have learned about the health concerns of diverse populations, the importance of health policies, leadership, and economic models, among others. Moving forwards, I will strive to implement the gained knowledge into practice.
Bosch, B. & Mansell, H. (2015). Interprofessional Collaboration in Health Care. Canadian Pharmacist Journal, 148(4), 176-179. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F1715163515588106
Haddad, L, M., & Geiger, R, A. (2020). Nursing Ethical Considerations. StatPearls Publishing LLC.
Loversidge, J. (2016). An Evidence-Informed Health Policy Model: Adapting Evidence-Based Practice for Nursing Education and Regulation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 7(2), 27-33. DOI: 10.1016/s2155-8256(16)31075-4
Pina, I, L., Cohen, P, D., Larson et al. (2015). A framework for describing health care delivery organizations and systems. American Journal of Public Health, 105(4), 670-679, https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.301926
Scott, K. W., Orav, E. J., Cutler, D. M., & Jha, A. K. (2017). Changes in hospital-physician affiliations in US hospitals and their effect on quality of care. Annals of Internal Medicine, 166(1), 1-8.
Stoliker, B, E., Verdun-Jones, S, N., & Vaughan, A, D. (2020). The relationship between age and suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide among prisoners. Health and Justice, 8(14), https://doi.org/10.1186/s40352-020-00117-3
Tsuchiya, Y., Shida, N., Tsujiuchi, T., & Machida, K. (2015). Healthy aging and concerns among elderly Japanese: a text analysis approach. International quarterly of community health education, 35(3), 215-226. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0272684X15576515