Psych/Mental Health Journal

From my reading this week I looked up an article on helpful tips for assessing someone with psychiatric problems.  This article was super informative as it talked about different psychiatric disorders and what we can do as nurses to better assess them. One of the biggest takeaways from this article was what it said towards the end. The most important thing to assess with anyone who has a mental disorder is to assess their suicide risk and violence risk. 

Article From: American Nurse Today

From the actual assessment that I did, my patient did not really have much going on mentally. The biggest issues that I noticed was her issue coping with everything that was going on. I did, however, learn a lot about my patient by asking and assessing all these different aspects of the mental health assessment.  Something I would want to improve upon is how to ask some of these questions. I have found some questions are hard to ask, especially when the person is actually suicidal or withdrawing from drugs. I think the more I get to assess and ask these questions the more comfortable I will feel assessing them. 

Final Leadership Journal

This is my final journal for the semester and my Leadership in Nursing course. In this journal I will reflect on the semester as a whole and what it taught me. This leadership class has been one of the more beneficial and applicable classes to my nursing practice currently. In this class we discussed a number of skills and situations that I may face in my future nuring career. I also learned about different forms of communication, problem solving, and how to work better with a team. In my future career I plan to be a leader one day and I know that things we were taught in this class will come in handy. One of my favorite subjects that we went over this semester was change and how we react to changes in our enviornment. There have been a lot of changes that have happened in my personal life as well as at my workplace over the last few months. From this lesson I believe that I was better prepared to take these changes in stride and try to have a better attitude about changes being made. I have thurougly enjoyed this course and like stated above think it was one of the most beneficial that I have done in the UVU bachlors program. Thank you Sean, for your organization and hard work into making this course great.

Week 15 Reflection Journal

1. What did you actually learn from the unit? How will you utilize the information learned in your nursing practice?

This week the focus was on risk management. This is such an important topic in healthcare and nursing because we are constantly perfomring tasks that could pose serious health and safety risks to our patients. It is important for us to understand how to handle situations where mistakes were made that could result in legal action. I think this unit was also a good reminder on how important it is to document EVERYTHING. If we don’t document something we can be held accountable for whatever the outcome is. Documentation could save us in the long run. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

It was interesting to see how my teammates would handel this situation. We mostly had the same types of ideas with a few differences. This opened my eyes to a situation in which I could easily run across in my practice and helped me to think through the process of what could happen. 

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.

Like I said above this is such an important topic in healthcare and nursing because we are constantly perfomring tasks that could pose serious health and safety risks to our patients. I think another important aspect of this is making sure to report near misses to the quality and safety teams of the hospital so that precauations can be set up to reduce the risk of someone making that mistake. It is our job to keep ourselves and our patients safe and try our best to decrease health and safety risks in the workplace. 

Pediatric Journal

From the videos this week I was reminded that sometimes we need to change the order of how we do our assessments based on the child. Normally we go head to toe with no problem but with children, they may not be so cooperative and we may be required to do what we can when we can. I also liked that the videos mentioned watching the child’s interaction with their parent or other family members that are present to assess their home life and relationships. The video also helped me figure out ideas to do different examinations by making them fun. 

This week there was not a specific reading assigned so I decided to look an article related to nursing and pediatric assessments.  I read about tips for communicating with pediatric patients in nursing. It talked a lot about building a trusting relationship with the child before jumping into assessing. Let the child play with equipment, use toys as distractions, play with the child. In adult patients we often just jump right into things with kids this could cause severe anxiety and may prevent you from even completing an assessment. Another big thing it talked about was getting on the child’s level. If the child is sitting, sit with them, if the child is on the floor get down there with them or help them up to a chair before beginning. We don’t want to look big and scary to the child. This was helpful because I do not assess very many children and reviewing some important tips beforehand helped me to see what I could do to make the assessment go more smoothly.

From my assessment this week I learned how hard it is to keep a child’s attention span while trying to perform an assessment. You have to use the mom or parent as much as possible to try to keep them entertained and obtain information that the child may not know or understand. It was also different because I had to use child-like words to describe what I was doing. Pediatric assessments are so different from teens and adults and this was great practice and allowed me to try different things to assess the child. 

Older Adult Journal

Learned from the videos

The videos were more of just a review of everything we have gone over this semester thus far. I really did not learn much new from them this week as most of my assessments this semester have been on older adults. 

Learned from the Reading

This weeks reading was an interesting study on a tool used to evaluate older adults. It states that nurses can use this tool at the bedside to determine the basic capabilities of an older adult. I think this would be extremely useful in practice as I have a lot of older adult patients who have to be evaluated prior to discharge to see if they need assisted living, rehab, or can go home with home health. This tool could be implemented to use at the bedside and help to evaluate in advance to make discharge processes smoother. 

Learned from the Assessment

I have worked with older adults for a long time and find them to be some of the most fun and entertaining patients to work with and take care of. I think older adults love to talk and tell stories and we can learn a lot about our patients by what they communicate to us. I think it is also important when working with older adults to get some input from their main caregiver if there is one. Many older adults in my experience tend to forget some vital health information because their histories are so extensive. Another important thing I learned during this assessment is that older adults are huge skin risks and we need to do a good head to toe assessment on them at admission. 

Journal Week 13

1. What did you actually learn from the unit? Your personal feelings about the material covered?

This week it was fun to look at different ways to motivate employees. I think this is HUGE. Where I work I feel like they do a good job trying to reward employees and keep them motivated to do a good job. This helps to boost the morale of staff and I think in turn it has a huge impact on patient satisfaction. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activity was great because it gave me insight into what my teammates thought would be good ways to motivate their employers. I agree that money is not necessarily a good motivator. I liked a lot of the ideas that were presented and think we came up with a great list that we could implement into hospital units/floors to boost the morale of the staff and encourage them to keep working hard.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice?

Like I stated above, I do not think that simply offering money is a good morale booster or motivator. If I made more money working somewhere and hated the environment I would rather work for less money and love my work. I think it is so important to have good motivators for staff and nurses because happy nurses = happy patients!

Skin Assessment Journal

This week from the videos It was really just a good review of assessing the skin and looking for abnormalities that could cause potential problems in our patients. A break in the skin creates a door for germs and bacteria to use to enter our bodies. The video this week wasn’t helpful for any other thing than just the review. I found the readings to be a lot more informational and they contained info that I want to use and incorporate into my practice. 

This week from the reading the most helpful thing to me was the link to the different descriptions of skin lesions. I am not a lesion expert by any means but this list was extremely helpful because it provided pictures and descriptions of what different lesions could look like. This will be helpful in my practice because when assessing wounds, rashes, etc It will be important to be able to describe the lesions accurately so that we can monitor if they are getting better or worse. At my workplace, we are required to take pictures of wounds and put them in the patient’s charts so that we have photographic evidence of the wounds progression/digression.

This week from my actual assessment I learned that everyone is at risk for skin alterations no matter how young/old they are. After doing this assessment on my patient I realized how important it was to keep her as dry as possible to prevent the breakdown of her skin. Often when we think of skin breakdown we think of an incontinent older adult that needs to be changed more often. This was similar in a way because rather than having incontinence moisture affecting her skin integrity she had sweat. After doing this assessment I put two and two together and really encouraged my patient to let me know when she got sweaty so that we could get her new sheets and a gown. This made her much more comfortable and helped to reduce her risk of skin breakdown. In the future, I want to be better at accurately describing lesions I find on the skin like I stated above I think it is a super important part of our assessment. 

Journal Week 12

1. What did you actually learn from the unit? Your personal feelings about the material covered?

Bargaining and conflict resolution are great skills to possess. It is important to fight for what you deserve in the workplace whether it’s your benefits, pay, or time off. Conflict is everywhere and we need to know how to handle it in a professional way. This unit helped me to look at different ways to handle conflict and see what kind of communication that I use.  The bargaining assignment also helped me to look at the possible immediate losses but the greater outcomes. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activity was interesting because it gave me the opportunity to look at what my other teammate’s thoughts were on how to solve a conflict. I think we all go about things differently and it’s good to see others perspectives. The bargaining activity was a bit confusing but it was interesting to see what my other teammates bargained for. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice?

Like I stated above, I think knowing how to take on conflicts is super important because they are all around us. Many people have different ways to communicate and it’s important for us as nurses to understand this. We will be talking to a variety of people all the time and may run into conflicts and need to know how to effectively communicate and solve these problems. 

Nose/Mouth/Throat Assessment Journal

This week from the readings I learned a couple things about testing for strep throat. First, I have heard before that the rapid strep tests can show a false negative and are not the most reliable test. This article, if I understood it right, is suggesting that assessments/tests for strep should not be based on one test or symptoms alone.  As providers, we need to look at symptoms, rapid strep tests, and even throat cultures. Strep that goes undetected can cause a number of serious health problems in children and even adults. This article studied mainly children but found that we need to enhance the ability to perform a number of different tests on children presenting with strep throat. 

From the videos this week I got a good refresher of the assessments of the throat, nose, and neck. Because the throat is so hard to visualize I think it is important to be able to assess what you can see well so that if there is something off you can get tests to further look into areas you may not be able to assess. I had forgotten the importance of checking out patients teeth and gums and dental infections can travel in the bloodstream to the heart causing endocarditis which is a huge problem.  It is important for us to stress the importance of seeing a dentist every 6 months to our patients because a healthy mouth is extremely important. 

This week from the actual assessment I was able to practice a lot of these smaller assessments that I have not performed since the first semester. The videos helped to remind me how to palpate the lymph nodes of the neck. I think noticing enlarged lymph nodes in our assessments could help to locate areas of infection. My patient was overall very healthy and did not have any problems in regards to her nose, throat, or neck that I was able to assess. Next time I want to improve upon my assessment on the thyroid… I’m not sure how soft or hard to palpate that area and felt that maybe I was palpating too soft. 

Week 11 Journal

1. What you actually learned from the unit? Your personal feelings about the material covered?

This week it was beneficial to go over the importance of planning. I love making plans and can see how beneficial they are in not only life but in a business setting. I liked that this week we learned about the importance of making a couple different plans because we cannot plan out exactly what will happen but just an idea. It is important to have backup plans to fall on when things don’t go exactly as planned. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activity was helpful in trying to plan out the future of health care in two different communities. We tried to space out the hospitals, clinics, and specialty buildings evenly throughout the block land. Making things more accessible to different parts of the population is important. I think it is important to make plans for a monthly basis, yearly basis, and every 5, 10, 20 years. We should always be looking to the future. I never thought how important it would be to plan for advertising as well, technology is always changing and so are hospitals so we have to be aware of these changes and plan accordingly for our advertisements.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I think it is important to plan our your life and have goals set for yourself. I am a huge planner of things and at times it drives my husband crazy but I secretly think he likes it! When we have a rough sketch of what we want to happen in our life we are better able to stick to our set goals and track our performance to achieve them. I think it is also important to have flexible plans that can change based off of emergency situations.