The RN to BSN program at Grand Canyon University meets the requirements for clinical competencies as defined by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), using nontraditional experiences for practicing nurses. These experiences come in the form of direct and indirect care experiences in which licensed nursing students engage in learning within the context of their hospital organization, specific care discipline, and local communities.
Note: This is an individual assignment. In 1,500-2,000 words, describe the teaching experience and discuss your observations. The written portion of this assignment should include:
- Summary of teaching plan
- Epidemiological rationale for topic
- Evaluation of teaching experience
- Community response to teaching
- Areas of strengths and areas of improvement
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Expert Answer and Explanation
Community Teaching Experience Paper
Summary of the Teaching Plan
Waterborne, cancer, and respiratory illnesses were some of the common established health issues faced by residents of Clarkston refugee camp. This prompted to focus the teaching on these three epidemiological issues. The topic taught was the environmental factors that lead to the spread of diseases. The teaching included three main sections the introduction of the issue, how environmental factors affect the spread of infections and lastly preventive measures which can be taken to break the chain of infection. The duration of the teaching lasted approximately 30 minutes
The introduction was mainly to orient the audience on what was being discussed. A good community health advocate, when educating the audience is supposed to capture their attention and good communication skills are importing in doing so. It is during the introduction stage that the speaker aimed to capture the attention of the audience. The introduction mainly touched on environmental health and how they relate to the three most prevalent health conditions faced by the community.
The second phase of the teaching linked the environmental factors and how they contribute to the spread of diseases, primarily the three established prevalent illnesses faced by the community. At this stage, the community was taught about environmental awareness and how they contributed to their current environmental health, and finally, the established risk factors that led to the high prevalence of waterborne, cancer and respiratory illnesses.
The last part of the teaching included both preventive and infection management and treatment measures which can be taken in case of an infection outbreak. Some of the preventive measures taught included proper disposal of waste and sewerage, good hygiene and health practices, and proper handling methods of food and drinking water to list a few. Some of the management techniques included, isolation and immediate treatment of infected persons (especially for infectious disease cases), and the reporting methodology in case of an infection outbreak.
The teaching concluded by taking questions from the audience and laying emphasis on the collective responsibility of every community member in ensuring that the spread of preventable waterborne and respiratory infections is eradicated, through proper environmental health practices.
Epidemiological Rationale for Topic
Correlation between the spread of waterborne infections, cancer, and respiratory infections with the environment, is one has been emphasized by community health experts (Efstratiou, Ongerth & Karanis, 2017; Prüss-Üstün et al., 2016). Waterborne infections are specifically those diseases which are spread through contaminated water. Diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, to list a few, is a good example of such infections. Waterborne illnesses if left unchecked can spread at an alarming rate, especially in a densely populated area like Clarkston refugee camp, where this health promotion exercise was conducted.
Likewise, communicable respiratory infections can spread just as fast. Most of the communicable respiratory infections are spread through contaminated air. The severity of the conditions of an infected person can be further influenced by pollution of air. Non-communicable respiratory diseases such as asthma are also made much worse when there is high pollution in the air (D’amato et al., 2015). Research has also show linkages between environmental pollution and the increased cases of cancer (Guo et al., 2016).
The understanding of linkages between the environment and the community’s health issues will help in breaking the chain of common infections faced and assist in enhancing positive health outcomes. It will also help promote proactive approaches in dealing with the spread of diseases.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
As a nurse, getting into the shoes of a primary community health worker is something which always encouraged especially in enhancing the health outcomes of the residents within that community (Katigbak et al., 2015). The aim of the teaching was to create awareness to the community on the importance of environmental cleanliness in their health outcomes. The teaching conducted from my perspective was quite engaging and productive. Getting hands-on experience in carrying out community health promotion by educating the community on matters health was quite enriching.
Getting the attention of the audience and maintaining it all through the presentation was a matter I was initially concerned with, but with the skills obtained in class, I managed to pull it through. Throughout my presentation, I realized the importance of knowledge on communication skills in delivering a focused message. The aspect of nervousness was apparent, given the unpredictable nature of how the audience might have responded.
The teaching experience not only helped me gain hands-on experience in my role as a primary community health worker, but it was also a motivational experience knowing that I was able to contribute positively in the community’s health outcome. Through the teaching experience, I was also able to identify some of the areas which I needed to improve on, to better present similar activities in future (some of the identified issues will be described in the later section of this paper). Ultimately the teaching experience was educational and brought to life the practical application of the theories and knowledge gained in class.
Community Response to Teaching
One of my biggest concerns during the teaching exercise was how the community is going to respond during the teaching and whether the teaching is going to have a positive effect on their health practices and outcome. From my observation, I can term the response from the community as positive both in terms of reception of the content provided and how the teaching was presented.
From literature read in class about communication, I was of the understanding that the first aspect of evaluating whether the audience is receptive to the information being given is by observing their body language (Riley, 2015). During my presentation, I was keen on taking note of the body language shown by my audience. From my observation, they portrayed a posture of interest by being attentive in listening to what I had to share with them and engaging in elaborative activities when asked to. Feedback in communication is an essential tool to help assess whether the message delivered has been received and understood or not (Riley, 2015). Judging from the feedback received, it was established that the audience was receptive to the message
The community also showed interest by putting to practice the various interventive measures taught on improving their health outcomes, especially interventive measures involving environmental health. Long term impact of the teaching was to be assessed on a later date to evaluate whether the intended result of improving the overall health of the community was realized or not.
Areas of Strengths and Areas of Improvement
The teaching experience also doubled up as a learning experience for me. After carrying out self-evaluation after the teaching, I was able to establish some key strengths and areas of improvement, which will help me to deliver better in future teaching experiences. Starting with the strengths, I was able to establish that the knowledge I have acquired during my period as a nursing student and other accompanying experiences in Grand Canyon University has proven quite invaluable. The knowledge accrued proved to be one of my major strengths when delivering health promotion activities to the community, especially knowledge on epidemiology, environmental health, community health, and communication skills. Another established strength is the fact that I had developed my cultural competence which allowed me to structure my teaching in a manner acceptable to the diverse population living inside Clarkson refugee camp.
The strengths observed from the teaching methodology included the ability of the community health teaching to reach out to a large portion of the population using minimal resources. The methodology also focused on the proactive measures to be taken rather than reactive, which have better results in terms of enhancing the overall health outcome of the community (Whitehead, 2018).
Some of the established weaknesses of the teaching plan include the ability to capture all cultural groups when delivering culturally competent health promotion activity. Due to the level of diversity within the refugee camp, it was challenging to assess all cultural considerations. As a result, some of the audience may not have had the same level of experience as the rest. Language was also considered to be a barrier/weakness since not all the refugees were eloquent in English, which was used to deliver the message to the audience.
D’amato, G., Vitale, C., De Martino, A., Viegi, G., Lanza, M., Molino, A., & D’amato, M. (2015). Effects on asthma and respiratory allergy of climate change and air pollution. Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine, 10(1), 39.
Efstratiou, A., Ongerth, J. E., & Karanis, P. (2017). Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: Review of worldwide outbreaks-An update 2011–2016. Water research, 114, 14-22.
Guo, Y., Zeng, H., Zheng, R., Li, S., Barnett, A. G., Zhang, S., … & Williams, G. (2016). The association between lung cancer incidence and ambient air pollution in China: a spatiotemporal analysis. Environmental research, 144, 60-65.
Katigbak, C., Van Devanter, N., Islam, N., & Trinh-Shevrin, C. (2015). Partners in health: a conceptual framework for the role of community health workers in facilitating patients’ adoption of healthy behaviors. American Journal of Public Health, 105(5), 872-880.
Prüss-Üstün, A., Wolf, J., Corvalán, C., Bos, R., & Neira, M. (2016). Preventing disease through healthy environments: a global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks. World Health Organization.
Riley, J. B. (2015). Communication in nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Whitehead, D. (2018). Exploring health promotion and health education in nursing. Nursing Standard, 33(8).
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