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Service Learning Reflection - Essay Example

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Service Learning at Papakolea Garden Name of Author Chaminade University Abstract At the start, I had preconceptions of what nursing will be like but after my experience in Papakolea, I have learned the importance of culturally sensitive, family-oriented, and nature-based care…
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Download file to see previous pages With the experience and learning I gained, I am now more inspired to do my best and serve as a nurse where ever I am needed. Service Learning at Papakolea Garden Since I was a little kid, I have always seen myself as a nurse. Working in the hospital, wearing the coveted white uniform or scrubs, doing rounds, filling patients’ charts, handing out medicines, serving as the doctor’s or surgeon’s assistant. However, my view about what a nurse really is, and what a nurse can do was literally broadened after my 10 hour service learning at Papakole’a Garden. My service learning project was conducted from Saturday, March 09, 2013 to Saturday, April 06, 2013 at the Papakole’a Community Gardens near the neighborhood’s schools. The 60’x80’ plot of land was planted to promote food sustainability, but as the project continued, the produce kept growing and eventually the harvest may even cater to the local community kitchen. I was merely a nursing student when I started working in the garden. I didn’t see the connection of health and gardening right away. But as my time in the garden grew, a new image of a nurse started to form in my head – that of the community nurse. A nurse that has all the training and bears all the competencies of a health care professional but has a deep understanding of his/ her own culture, and a proud sense of community. I. What the community taught me about nursing I was born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii and though I don’t have any Hawaiian roots, I can claim that I belong and have a grasp of the state’s culture. Understanding your patient’s cultural background is essential in providing proper and sensitive care for them. The community of Papakolea is quite unique because in its community and infrastructure planning, the wellness of the kupuna as they age is given much priority and high regard. They even built a kupuna supportive living center to cater to the needs of the aging and their families. There are also schools in the area that have sound health and wellness policies and practices integrated in their curriculum. As is observed, the health and wellness of every generation is deemed important in this community. This initiative of the Papakolea government is congruent with the concept of Ohana or family that is a cultural identity for every person that resides in Hawaii. They have actually dubbed their health program as Ohana-health – giving healthcare services with a big emphasis on the importance of families and community relationships as an extension of the family. Being a nurse in this setting taught me about how big of a matter family is to the Papakolea residents and to the Hawaiians as a whole. Since family is central to their wellbeing, then care should be given with the family in mind. In this context, the giving of treatment may also be more effective if the patient’s family is involved as a support system for the patient during treatment. The garden in the community of Papakolea also taught me another integral part of being a nurse. The health of the land reflects the health of its people. The relatively small garden that the community maintains expresses their dedication for wholesome food that is sustainable for everyone in the community. Every resident has access to the community garden and although the produce is mainly allotted for the kupuna, everyone pitches in so that the land’s production is maximized and wholesome food will be available for all. This regard for the environment and the food source ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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