Nursing is a taught practice that entails the provision of care to ailing individuals of all age. It seeks to restore good health to those who are ill, promotes healthy lifestyles, and alleviates pain through treatment, maintenance and restoration of health. Different nurses go through various experiences while at their workstations. Of course, this variation is due to the different types of registered nurses in the medical field. This paper, with reference to the discussion post, seeks to reflect on how nursing experiences affect the practice now. The work will also present a perpetration or rather aging biases witnessed and subsequently, a proper community education plan created.
The experiences one faces in the nursing field are diverse since there are various nurses each handling very different cases. The experiences that one might have, influences another person’s desire to venture into the same field or rather, one’s persistent power in the area of work. Nurses learn from each other since they are of different types all of whom possess specialized skills and knowledge in the health care fraternity.
With the increasing global society and multiple cultures, nurses have no option but to be diverse in their modes of provision of better health care services. It is important for nursing students to absorb the ethos of nursing edification. This is within the context of the expectations of the profession and the cultural standards. Provision of culturally proficient treatment care must fit the needs, lifestyle, values, practices, beliefs, and traditions of the patient. The attainment of eminence health maintenance is only within the patient’s traditional context. Health care facilities out to embrace the cultural differences amongst the health care practitioners and the patients. The environment should be conducive for all.
The discussion post highlights the importance of being diverse while at the workstations. Every nurse is unique in his or her own way. From religious beliefs, gender, political beliefs cultural beliefs, age, race, ethnicity, and so forth (McFarland & In Wehbe-Alamah, 2015). This is a significance of multiplicity. It all comes down to the aspect of both diversity awareness and self-awareness.
Diversity awareness refers to the active, continuous process in which an individual realizes the differences and similarities between and within different cultural assemblages (McFarland & In Wehbe-Alamah, 2015). It dictates traditional assessment of patients and cultural involvement with healthcare experts. This is with the aim of facilitating harmony and collaboration in diversely cultured hospitals therefore maximizing health results. The range of differences and similarities influence the proposal of care and specialized partnership. (Sigma Theta Tau International, 2006)
On the other hand, diversity self-awareness is a process that occurs through a reflection of our own cultural individuality, appreciate our own norms and values and consequently distinguish the disparities both between and within our own cultural niches. In order to avoid jeopardizing patient safety and subsequently the patient’s health results, it is important to provide ethnically incongruent treatment care.
I have come to realize that being an all rounded nurse is important. Learning other languages, embracing different cultures, appreciating the norms and values that affect different patients is a necessity. As a nurse both self-awareness and diversity is paramount for effective and efficient nursing care during patient care. Just as I am affected by a wide range of personal and workplace issues, so does the affected party (ies). Once a nurse gets to know this, it makes his or her job easier while dealing with the patient(s).
Ageing bias refers to a situation whereby a nurse provides care that is exclusively on the patient’s age rather than their physical condition. For example, a nurse might under serve an elderly patient and over treat a younger patient, or vice versa. Through working with different kind of nurses for over thirty years, I have experienced selected aging biases occurrences. In the medical field, younger people receive treatment differently than the much older population. This is evident in the aggressive medicinal care the young receive as compared to the elderly (Jones and Bartlett, 2005).
The older people are tired, weary, have mental deficits and no one seems to consider their much gained wisdom, skills and knowledge. The younger hold the perception of being more valuable than the older people are. Economically, the elderly depend solely on the younger generation for survival. The youths have to make their careers, maintain them, as well as feed and look after their needs as that of their families as well.
With this in mind, most medical practitioners will unintentionally have this socially constructed attitude against the elderly. The result is that the nurses are quick to attribute the sickness of the hoary individual to old age simply because the diagnosis turned out to be complicated and incomprehensible. Rather than finding a cure, the nurse settles on ways of making the patient comfortable with the ailment as opposed to finding a cure. For example, an elderly inpatient had constant complaints of backaches each day. (Miller, 2009)The nurses at their stations usually administered painkillers assuming that the pains resulted from old age. With time, the situation became serious and after a series of x-rays and CT scan, the patient came out with spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one of the bone glides over the bone beneath it). After a few weeks of treatment, the pain totally subsided.
From the above, we can conclude that age is indeed a bias in treatment. The problem is that most nurses opt to categorize old age as a disease itself. I personally, have had this weakness unconsciously, but there are various ways through which community education plan addresses this issue.
Community based education is an institution’s platform to enhance social development activities and learning with individuals or groups of people in the society using a variety of proper and accustomed method in dialogue with both patients and the community, in this case. It serves the purpose of developing the aptitude of persons and crowds in all ages by their schedules and the capability of populations to mend their eminence of life. In this case, the aim is to address ageing bias in the community. As earlier seen, the prejudice we have towards an out-ward group is deadly since the actions we hold are dangerous and can be deadly. It is important if we acknowledge our biases and move towards the crowd of people we make uncomfortable.
The strategy offers an operational way of responding to the bias challenge to improve efficient services offered to patients despite their race, age, gender, social class status, and ethnicity. The challenge is not just to eradicate biasness in the society but also to achieve the goals of equal treatment for all patients. In order to achieve that goal increased cooperation amongst the hospitals is necessary. The communities serving the health institution and the patients’ families ought to read on the same page and collaborate in ending age bias.
The ongoing lack of confidence in some hospitals due to age bias issues when dealing with patients. Public education is a total communal initiative. Various strategies provide a framework of developing the program. The first strategy is to make use of communal edification amenities as public provision centers for tackling the health, educational, recreational, social, and cultural needs of all ages in the society. The general attitude of individuals in the society affects how the old and young are viewed in the society, there ought to be a consideration in the needs and concerns of the older population in the society as well as the young. This encourages keeping hospitals open on to all without having the fear of being mistreated in an institution because of age factors.
Development of an environment that embraces all human beings in the society is necessary. This plan recognizes that age bias not only happens within the hospital setting but in the society as well (Tappen, 2011). Therefore, development of education programs is necessary in order to change the perception of individuals in the community over time. Some programs, such as professional training and reeducation programs for medical practitioners are important. Augmentation programs as well as additional programs for young people in the community aids in changing their ways of thinking. (Grace, 2009)
A process of encompassing the community and hospital institutions in informative preparation and decision-making is essential. Distinct communal members have the responsibility of setting primacies, formatting community needs, and allocating resource. By using questionnaires, we get to know and fully understand how the general perception of the community is concerning various age brackets in the society.
In conclusion, diversity is important especially in the field of nursing. It enables the medical practitioners to treat all the patients with all equality. The community education plan enables us to know the perception of the citizens concerning people of a particular age gap and therefore identify which group faces bias the most. Educating the community reduces age biases perpetration as well as improves both self and cultural diversity. With this in mind, this will ultimately reduce conflict between both the patient and the nurse (es).
In McFarland, M. R., & In Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2015). Leininger’s culture care diversity and universality: A worldwide nursing theory.
Masters, K. (2005). Role development in professional nursing practice. Sudbury, Mass.; Toronto: Jones and Bartlett.
Sigma Theta Tau International. (2006). NurseAdvance collection on cultural diversity in nursing. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.
Tappen, R. M. (2011). Advanced nursing research: From theory to practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Miller, C. A. (2009). Nursing for wellness in older adults. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Grace, P. J. (2009). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.