Summary of Teaching Plan
When the time came to plan a community teaching plan, I realized that I had to adopt several systematic guides to help me. My initial plan was to evaluate some serious health issues in my community and select the best topic for the target audience. I chose tuberculosis in Miami, Florida. For this teaching plan, the choice for a given topic was restricted by the provided options. As a result, I opted for the primary prevention or health promotion area.
Specifically, I focused on TB diagnosis and management in a vulnerable population, the homeless persons sheltered at Miami Rescue Mission. My target population was 35 people aged 18-54 years old. TB was a major challenge among homeless persons due to their increased exposure to multiple risk factors for the infection. It presented nursing diagnosis and epidemiological rationale for TB. Additionally, I also made a nursing diagnosis and listed all the findings—assessed readiness to learn from two perspectives, namely emotional and experiential readiness.
Since the participants were vulnerable people in the community, I realized that I needed a suitable learning theory to aid my teaching processes. Consequently, I chose social learning theory. This theory was adopted to ensure that learners would continue or stop new behaviors in their social environments. Under the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) objective, I chose Social Determinants of Health with the goal to “create social and physical environments that promote good health for all” (Healthy People 2020, 2017).
Further, I had to relate Alma Ata’s Health for All under social determinants of health where conditions, such as poverty, influenced the healthy living of an individual. I developed four behavioral objectives with domains, content, and strategies or methods consisting of major challenges of TB, symptoms, compliance with procedures, and healthy living. Participants were evaluated using pre-tests and post-tests to determine any change in knowledge. Finally, I had to address any possible lack of interest in learning by ensuring that the learning was interactive and engaging.
Overall, I learned that it was important to prepare for every teaching experience to enhance the possibility of positive results for homeless persons. Any challenges that I encountered during the preparation informed how I should approach the class and deliver a meaningful teaching experience.
Epidemiological Rationale for Topic
Tuberculosis (TB) is still a serious public health challenge globally, although there are some low-incidence countries, such as the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada (Heuvelings, de Vries, & Grobusch, 2016). A low incidence rate reflects less than 10 TB cases per 100,000 population. In the above-mentioned countries, TB is normally common among vulnerable persons, including migrants, refugees, drug and alcohol abusers, homeless individuals, people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and prisoners (Heuvelings et al., 2016, p. 77). These cases are usually also reported in major cities.
Homeless shelters have been linked with TB in the US and in nearly all states, and Florida is no exception. Homeless individuals are classified as high-risk people for acquiring TB disease due to disproportionate experiences from different other health issues and additional risk factors, such as exposure to TB from infected persons, poor diets, poor access to healthcare facilities, and lack of preventive measures, overcrowding in shelters (Florida Department of Health, 2013).
It is observed that reported cases of TB continue to decline in the US. For instance, in 2010, the reported TB cases were 11,171, but this declined to 10,528 in 2011 (Florida Department of Health, 2013). Homeless persons were identified among the populations with the highest number of TB. In the US, about 1% of the population is homeless every year, and from this homeless population, 5.8% reported cases of TB in 2011. The State of Florida had 3,818 homeless persons, but only nine cases of TB were reported in 2011. Throughout the year, 5.6% of TB cases were reported in the State (Florida Department of Health, 2013).
The World Health Organization (WHO) established that TB was the most serious infectious disease globally. For instance, in 2014, there were 1.5 million deaths linked to TB (Nall, 2016). The disease is a major issue in developing nations. Still, vulnerable persons in the US are occasionally diagnosed with TB every year.
Although TB is the most deadly infectious disease because it kills more people than other infectious diseases, it is normally preventable and curable when the right conditions are met.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
I understood that homeless centers are unique in society because they cater to some of the most vulnerable persons. At this point, I noted that I was involved in a service-learning process. Service-learning is a form of educational experience where learners take part in a planned service engagement that meets specifics community needs and inculcate the service activities in a manner that ensures that learners get gain course contents, appreciate learning, and realized an improved sense of personal values and care to the community (Stanley, 2013).
I learned about how collaboration was critical in the community setting. Taking my time to develop a rapport with participants resulted in deeper involvement, learning, and favorable outcomes.
I selected a suitable topic that would meet the needs of homeless persons at the shelter home. Consequently, the experience was fulfilling because I developed my own teaching plan for the two-day event. Once I was at the center and the prior preparation I had, I decided to assess participants’ readiness to learn using both emotional and experiential techniques. Obviously, participants were eager to learn more about TB and understand why they were more prone to this deadly infectious disease than other general populations.
I applied social learning theory to deliver my content to participants. This theory worked well with vulnerable persons (Tropeano, 2015). It ensured that I could observe and experience novel behaviors that were reinforced by other persons or models (Tropeano, 2015). Consequently, this theory helped participants to learn new behaviors and drop habits that could undermine their health. For instance, when the instructor demonstrated procedures for covering mouth and nose when coughing, participants learned that and practiced on their own. Social learning theory was generally applied to handle behavioral conflicts in the learning environment.
Besides, the learning experience was fun, interactive, and engaging because participants were allowed to ask questions, discuss freely, and give their personal experiences through stories. To reinforce learning and develop better experiences, I asked participants to describe specific problems they know about TB, and I encouraged them to provide solutions (if no solutions were found, I had to attract their attention by showing the complexity and challenges associated with the condition).
By developing learning objectives with various behavioral domains, the teaching process could explore various aspects of learning, including cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.
Overall, my teaching experience was good, although there were instances of challenges. Initially, some participants had little interest in the program. At once, I realized that I had to communicate effectively and make the process more interesting. I organized group discussions, demonstrations, and question and answer sessions and used presentations projected on a wall to capture their attention. Additionally, I also appreciated that participants perhaps had other issues that they encountered or worried about their situations. As such, by the end of the program, I managed to include everyone in the learning process.
Community Response to Teaching
Before I embarked on this teaching experience, I researched any literature about teaching experiences in homeless centers and their impacts. Unfortunately, there was hardly any relevant literature. As such, I did not know what to expect from participants, and I learned that not many educational programs targeted homeless persons and their health needs. Besides, my participants were vulnerable, which means their situation could actually influence one’s emotions.
Naturally, I envisioned a successful teaching experience. Thus, I turned my attention to all participants with the intention of making the process more interactive and engaging. I made sure that I evaluated all aspects of readiness to learn before the lessons started. The decision to make an interactive class was good because it resulted in a highly effective learning process. The tests I administered prior to and after teaching had a significant impact on participants. For instance, all learners had improved scores after the lesson. They were extremely satisfied and happy to be a part of the class. Participants expressed their interest in more lessons in the future.
I attributed the success of the teaching program to partnership building with the community involved. I communicated with the community members before the development of the teaching proposal. Moreover, I made sure that needs and learning approaches were community-centered and learner-centered. In fact, learning was about the community, their needs identified, and opportunities identified as teaching for health promotion. Further, I strived for the absolute involvement of participants. In the end, participants wanted to know when a similar program could be organized again.
Areas of Strengths and Areas of Improvement
One major strength I noted was in my preparation for this teaching. I had thoroughly studied the community, explored their unmet needs, and built a solid presentation. Besides, I had the right tools, such as a projector for presentation. Before the actual presentation, I also build a good partnership with the community. Building on my effective communication and other soft skills, I was able to deliver a two-day successful program. Creativity to keep learners involved and active actually proved useful. In such instances, I allowed participants to tell their stories, ask questions, provide answers, and demonstrate.
Nonetheless, I must admit that it is not simple to work with homeless persons because of their vulnerability. One must be emotionally strong and stable to ensure the lesson is successful. Taking emotion out of the program is one aspect will have to work on for better outcomes. Besides, I did not know what to expect from my participants and, thus, I was anxious but later on felt more relaxed as the lesson went on smoothly. Overall, this encounter was an opportunity to experience health disparity and understand the challenges of homeless persons. Moreover, I also learned about the need to develop an understanding of vulnerability, sensitivity, and some practices among vulnerable persons.
Florida Department of Health. (2013). Tuberculosis prevention and control guidelines for homeless service agencies in Miami Dade County, Florida. Web.
Healthy People 2020. (2017). Social determinants of health. Web.
Heuvelings, C. C., de Vries, S. G., & Grobusch, M. P. (2016). Tackling TB in low-incidence countries: Improving diagnosis and management in vulnerable populations. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 56, 77-80. Web.
Nall, R. (2016). Tuberculosis. Web.
Stanley, M. J. (2013). Teaching about vulnerable populations: Nursing students’ experience in a homeless center. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(10), 585-8. Web.
Tropeano, M. (2015). Social learning theory and its importance to social work. Web.