It goes without saying that health care providers are responsible not only for delivering quality care but for establishing contact with a patient on the basis of mutual trust and respect. However, in my practice, I have already faced several challenging patient encounters and realized the necessity of my personal development. In the first case, a 21-year-old pregnant woman was not taking her prenatal daily as she did not believe in their efficiency and significance to both her and her child’s health. In the second case, a woman with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) outbreak did not want her partner to get tested and receive treatment if necessary. In the third case, another pregnant woman did not realize the importance of tracking her blood pressure during pregnancy, but it was challenging to explain the issue to her as she spoke only Spanish.
In all cases, patients received appropriate consultations and treatment. I have assisted with a PAP test and fetal heart tones examination for pregnant women to ensure that children were developing properly and mothers’ health condition was acceptable. In addition, I have received useful knowledge related to herpes culture to identify a disease and provide appropriate treatment. During practice, I have consulted with my preceptor’s notes and Youtube links from the school dedicated to procedures. In addition, I was guided by reliable resources with evidence-based recommendations to address these encounters in the most suitable ways.
According to Freedman et al. (2018), folic acid, phosphatidylcholine, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements promote normal fetal development and prevent a child’s serious mental illnesses in the future, including bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia. Moreover, for mothers, folic acid may prevent kidney dialysis, liver disease, and colon and cervical cancer (Finger Lakes Community Health, 2017). Blood pressure should be obligatorily monitored during pregnancy as high blood pressure may lead to such severe complications as the child’s preterm delivery and the mother’s stroke, preeclampsia, or eclampsia (“High blood pressure during pregnancy,” 2021). In the case of herpes, and other sexually transmitted infections, for efficient prevention and treatment, a partner in monogamous relationships should be aware of the disease and tested to know to be uninfected or receive treatment in the case of infection (“Genital herpes – CDC fact sheet (Detailed),” 2021).
In fact, I am very grateful to my preceptor as she created a highly comfortable learning environment and guided me to encourage my professional growth. As a result, I have managed to improve the majority of my skills, especially time management, critical thinking, and communication. I have learned that it is highly essential to manage patient flow appropriately and not to keep people waiting for long. In addition, I realized the importance of teamwork in the treatment process, especially now when COVID-19 capacity restrictions substantially increased patient volumes.
In general, I have realized that challenging situations in practice demonstrate that there are always opportunities for personal and professional development. From described cases, I have learned that communication and cultural competence and awareness are immeasurably important for health care providers. Although specialists should respect patients’ cultural and religious beliefs, they should know what approaches to apply in order to explain to people if these beliefs are harmful to their health. In addition, I understood that I should improve my language skills in order to establish communication with Spanish-speaking patients and be more competent. Thus, quality communication and cultural competence in nursing may be regarded as the basis of my professional growth and development as a health care provider. Realizing it, I am receiving highly positive and encouraging feedback from my preceptor.
Finger Lakes Community Health. (2017). January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Reproductive Health Education (RH Ed), 28, 1-2.
Freedman, R., Hunter, S. K., Hoffman, M. C. (2018). Prenatal primary prevention of mental illness by micronutrient supplements in pregnancy. The American Journal of Psychiatry. Web.
Genital herpes – CDC fact sheet (Detailed). (2021). Web.
High blood pressure during pregnancy. (2021). Web.