Healthcare advocacy competencies for baccalaureate nursing education seek to establish clear expectations for this level of practice. Along with academic assessments, self-evaluation can be valuable in ensuring one’s readiness to care for diverse patient populations. In this essay, I will engage in self-assessment by reflecting on my perceived preparedness to incorporate three competencies of a BSN-prepared nurse, including the BSN Essentials 7, 12, and 18.
Essential 7: Providing Appropriate Teaching Informed by Patients’ Characteristics
After completing the NUR 4287 AD course, I have become more prepared to incorporate the aging healthcare consumers’ concerns and age-specific information processing patterns into patient education endeavors. The seventh essential BSN competency is concerned with the nurse’s ability to provide teaching that is reflective of the person’s socio-demographic, cultural, and literacy-related characteristics. The course has supported me in developing an awareness of geriatric patients’ needs and expectations when it comes to receiving health promotion instructions from the healthcare staff. Along with cultural diversity knowledge from previous courses and the ability to respect another’s personal choices and spiritual self-identification, this awareness makes me ready to demonstrate this competency during practice.
From professional experience and personal interactions with older relatives, I recognize the role of carefully formatted teaching materials for optimal patient engagement. For health literacy, up to 30% of adults in the U.S. struggle with reading at a fifth-grade reading level, which could be worse for older adults (Marshall & Hale, 2019; Van Ballegooie & Hoang, 2021). Thus, I stay committed to pursuing simplicity during patient interaction. Also, common developmental characteristics peculiar to the elderly, such as low vision, hearing deficiencies, imperfect short-term memory, difficulty focusing, and similar issues, should be considered to provide the best possible education (Marshall & Hale, 2019). As a professional participating in teaching, I am ready to offer or invent the necessary accommodations for these cases. Such accommodations might include providing several copies of educational materials, using the right font size and color to emphasize critical points, and changing voice loudness appropriately (Marshall & Hale, 2019). Making sure that the message is concise, non-ambiguous, and delivered in a well-structured manner is another helpful strategy that I recognize (Marshall & Hale, 2019). This knowledge makes me feel prepared for patient teaching tasks in various circumstances.
Essential 12: Creating Safe Care Environments to Promote Positive Outcomes
In general, I feel ready to ensure care environments’ safety during encounters with older patients, and the NUR 4287 AD course has strengthened this confidence to a large extent. Particularly, week four reading and discussion activities focused on fall prevention in the elderly increased my comprehension of the barriers to safety and the sources of care mistakes in geriatric nursing. As a nurse, I will implement the currently known evidence-based safety measures and use peer-reviewed literature to take my understanding and awareness to the next level. With regard to fall prevention, this aspect of patient safety has spurred a large amount of research in various contexts, ranging from community-dwelling older adults to hospitalized geriatric patients (Cheng et al., 2018). The viable safety promotion methods include fall prevention products, such as walking aids, rails, or non-slip surfaces, as well as multifactorial interventions and exercise programs to improve older adults’ balance (Cheng et al., 2018). Staying updated on the science of safety promotion can take my readiness for practice further.
The confidence linked with the essential is also supported by takeaways linked with the prevention of adverse medication-related events. New knowledge peculiar to the safe management of pharmaceutical treatments, including the opportunities for interprofessional collaboration and patient teaching, increases the number of strategies I can choose from to ensure geriatric patients’ safety. However, to make patient teaching skills pertaining to medication regimes even more pronounced, I will continue the exploration of the genealogy principles.
Essential 18: Patients’ and Providers’ Spiritual Beliefs/Values and Impacts on Healthcare
I feel adequately prepared to recognize clients’ and colleagues’ values and spiritual beliefs and consider their influences. Thanks to reading activities in week four, I have researched spirituality as a care concern. With older adults, some profound issues can be identified by means of focused spiritual assessments, but even brief assessments provide valuable information (Jones, 2020). Aside from training as a nurse, I have a genuine interest in topics linked with religious diversity and the emergence of personal philosophies, which fuels my confidence in this regard. Due to that, my interactions with colleagues and patients will always include learning about the other person’s unique belief system and acknowledging its possible impacts on collaboration, patient teaching, and caring. For instance, religious causes might create peculiar attitudes to components in medications, some of which might turn out to be prohibited. Autopsy decisions, nudity in front of care providers of the opposite sex, appropriate and inappropriate physical contact, and religious rituals’ temporality are other areas of religious values’ influence. As a care provider, I am ready to consider them in encounters with geriatric patients without deemphasizing patient safety.
To sum up, having completed the course, I feel rather confident when it comes to the three competencies discussed above. The course activities have facilitated significant increases in the knowledge peculiar to the considerations of safety, effective teaching, and spiritual characteristics in caring for older adults and aging families. Nevertheless, engagement in lifelong learning and staying aware of advancements in safety promotion among aging patients still remain crucial.
Cheng, P., Tan, L., Ning, P., Li, L., Gao, Y., Wu, Y., Schwebel, D. C., Chu, H., Yin, H., & Hu, G. (2018). Comparative effectiveness of published interventions for elderly fall prevention: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(3), 1-14. Web.
Jones, C. L. C. (2020). Spiritual well-being in older adults: A concept analysis. Journal of Christian Nursing, 37(4), E31-E38. Web.
Marshall, K., & Hale, D. (2019). The older adult and health literacy. Home Healthcare Now, 37(5), 292. Web.
Van Ballegooie, C., & Hoang, P. (2021). Assessment of the readability of online patient education material from major geriatric associations. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 69(4), 1051-1056. Web.