A Reflection of Five Weeks of the Co-Operative Nursing Experience

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A Reflection of Five Weeks of the Co-operative Nursing Experience Rebecca Tutt, RN
University of Texas at Arlington

In partial fulfillment of the requirements of
N3300 Specialized Topics in Nursing (Co-Op)

Beth Mancini, RN, Ph.D.
March 7, 2013
Online RN to BSN
Introduction
The co-operative nursing assignment has given me the opportunity to use my critical thinking, decision-making, leadership, and clinical nursing expertise learned throughout the RN-BSN program. “The fostering of critical thinking as one of the terminal learning goals of nursing education based on the idea that critical thinking is important not only in the nursing workplace, but also in nursing education” (Shin, Jung, Shin & Kim, 2006, p. 233). My critical thinking skills have been enhanced throughout the program due to class assignments and the use of professional nursing journals. Critical thinking was used to set the three goals that will be reviewed in this paper, from data-gathering skills to decision-making skills. Leadership and communication skills are essential for my role as nursing supervisor in an ambulatory primary care clinic. The RN-BSN program leadership and management class has been valuable in my growth as a leader. Nurses in management roles “must be skilled communicators and relationship builders, have knowledge of the health care environment, exhibit leadership skills, display professionalism, and demonstrate core leadership competencies (Sullivan, 2012). I used these leadership skills while completing my team dynamics goal that will be reviewed in this paper. Throughout the last five weeks of the co-operative nursing experience, I have seen my skills, behaviors, and attitude change. Prior to starting the three projects for this class, I was still lacking confidence at times when coaching members of my nursing team. I became timid and listless, which became obvious since it was not my normal behavior. All three of these characteristics have improved while working on both the professionalism and team dynamics goals. In coaching a medical office assistant last week for not meeting the expectations of her job, I kept a professional attitude and remained confident. The medical office assistant corrected the issue immediately and has continued to meet the expectations of her job since the coaching session. Evidence Based Practice

The evidence based practice goal that I set was to identify one patient education topic in my primary care clinic that needed improvement. I planned to monitor incoming patient telephone calls and survey the patients after visit summaries for two weeks to identify the topic. I was able to quickly identify my topic as patient education regarding an accurate medication list and understanding the completion of medication reconciliation at each office visit. “In the outpatient setting, safe medication management presents a greater challenge” (Leonhardt, Bonin, & Pagel, 2007, p. 8). While speaking with patients on the phone, I found that we were not doing a good job of educating them about the importance of an accurate medication list. A significant number of patients were taking over- the-counter and herbal medication that could have interacted with some of their prescriptions, but they were not on the current medication list in the electronic medical record [EMR]. These conversations reinforced that additional patient education was needed. I collaborated with staff; researched patient education of medication list, and read peer reviewed nursing journal articles to compile an appropriate resource guide for the nursing staff to use as an educational tool with our patients. A key strategy recommended by national and international patient safety experts is to engage patients in the medication process through a collaborative relationship with their providers (Leonhardt, Bonin, & Pagel, 2007). I collaborated with the Clinical Staff Assistant [CSA] supervisor to start engaging the patients...
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