Hospice Care Clinical Experience and Reflection

I completed my clinical experience at the hospitals palliative care unit located at 3300 Oakdale Avenue, North Robbinsdale, Minnesota. I saw all types of chronic illnesses/conditions, such as dementia, end-stage renal failure, stroke, diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure, edema, hypertension, etc.

The time spent at the hospital radically altered my worldview regarding nursing work. It was an eye-opening experience to see a person on his or her deathbed. This experience changed the way I perceived nursing duties. In the past, my automatic response to a health issue compelled me to nurse the patient back to health. However, in the said TCU facility, the nature of healthcare delivery forced me to accept the patients eventual demise. In fact, I was supposed to help them face death with dignity.

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How the nurse collaborated with inter-professional teams
I spent a great deal of my time collaborating with fellow nursing students. Our working relationship was helpful in patient transfer protocols or any procedure that needed extra hands in ensuring the safety of the patient. Nonetheless, our group also collaborated with professional healthcare workers, such as nurses and physicians. In terms of collaborating with interprofessional teams, it is imperative to say that we spent a great deal of time working with nurses assigned to the said hospital. Our collaborative efforts were a great help to the nurses, especially when it came to the dispensing of medications, and the giving of various forms of assistance to patients requiring extra help. Our nursing skills were also tested as we collaborated with other nursing practitioners in terms of cleaning the patients wounds, GI feeding, inserting catheters, and the setting-up up the IV bags. Combining forces with the nurses assigned to the said TCU enabled us to interact with other professionals, such as neuropsychologists specializing in Alzheimers treatment. I took note of the presence of occupational therapists and physical therapists working with some of the nurses. The collaborative work was in building strength and improving certain motor skills. Speech therapists were seen collaborating with other healthcare workers and the staff of the said hospital. Working in tandem with other specialists in the context of inter-professional collaboration was also a learning experience for me because it gave me a deeper understanding of the importance of developing a holistic approach with regard to the healthcare delivery process.

The team-building strategies utilized
I observed the application of a basic team-building strategy after nursing practitioners completed the patient assessment protocol. They interacted with physicians on duty. The said communication process enabled them to receive relevant and immediate instructions regarding the patients medical condition. Although the face-to-face interactions between nurses and doctors were helpful, it became evident that improvements in collaborative work between professionals required immediate attention. It is a good thing to know that nursing practitioners have access to proven programs and platforms, such as ACT, FLIEPPS, QSEN, and TeamSTEPPS. ACT stands for Achieving Competency Today, a good example of a learning program that helps nursing practitioners learn from other healthcare professionals. FLIEPPS stands for Faculty Leadership Interprofessional Education to Promote Patient Safety, this is another example of a learning program that gives nurses an idea of how professionals from other fields of endeavor operate in the context of healthcare delivery processes. QSEN stands for Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, a learning platform that enables nurses to acquire best practices in acquiring and teaching key competencies (Freshman & Reid, 2010). TeamStepps represented a patient safety program developed by the Department of Defense that teaches strategies on how to improve communication and teamwork skills.

Leadership skills
My instructor also works in the said hospital and from her actions a set of leadership skills were on full display. My instructor exemplified leadership qualities and highlighted the importance of education and role models. She taught me about the basic principles that nurses are supposed to know by heart. At the same time, she created a positive and nurturing atmosphere that made it conducive to learning.

In my opinion, the leadership skills displayed in the said hospital inspired young nurses to walk the extra mile in terms of the need to (White & Truax, 2007). For example, I saw a nurse providing extra work when setting up family members with specialists in order to coordinate the required type of treatment or intervention needed on that particular day. I saw another nurse who took the time to give a patient proper oral care, after noticing an abnormal buildup of mucus in the patients mouth. Based on my current skill level, I believe that leadership opportunities are limited. However, I can strive to become a good role model for student nurses with zero or minimal experience when it comes to interaction with patients within a healthcare setting.

The contribution to safe and quality client care
My contribution came after I noticed a patients unhealthy pallor and it prompted me to alert the nurse on duty. It turned out that he suffered a fall that caused bleeding of the brains subdural tissue (Goodman & Clemow, 2008). He was unresponsive at that point, and could not communicate the nature of his discomfort. I examined some of his vital signs and discovered critical levels in oxygen intake and blood pressure. As a result of my quick thinking, the nurse on duty was able to coordinate with physicians and the members of the immediate family. However, due to limited time and experience, I did not have an opportunity to affect policy changes in the said hospital.

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