Clinical Assessment and Reasoning

I’m Michelle Ballard, a nurse in the bachelor’s program at UVU.  I am also a part-time postpartum nurse, a mother of four amazing children, a wife to my best friend, and I love anything to do with nature:)  I love being a nurse and am using this blog to share my thoughts, feelings, and discoveries as I learn clinical assessment and reasoning.  I hope this class will continue to improve on my nursing skills and help me be an even better caregiver!

Leadership

I’m Michelle Ballard, a nurse in the bachelor’s program at UVU.  I am also a part-time postpartum nurse, a mother of four amazing children, a wife to my best friend, and I love anything to do with nature:)  I love being a nurse and caring for people and will be using this blog to record my thoughts, ideas, and development of my own philosophy on leadership!  Hopefully you will enjoy the journey as much as I am:)

The Polynesian Culture

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

I have learned a lot about the Polynesian culture this semester with specific knowledge on the Maori culture of New Zealand.  What an amazing culture, I have always wanted to visit New Zealand now I just want to live there!  The Polynesian culture puts an amazing emphasis on family.  Which when it comes down to it I believe is really one of the most important parts of my life.  

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will make sure to be respectful to my patient’s desire to have everyone in her family visit while in the hospital.  I work on the mom/baby floor and when a baby is born into the Polynesian culture you can bet there are a lot of people to welcome the new family member.

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I love the Polynesian culture and in all my interactions with this culture have always felt accepted and well fed:)  The father’s I have witnessed in the hospital are extremely involved with the care of their new infant and I love seeing that.  I grew up in a big family of LDS caucasians.  But my family ties remind me of the Polynesian families I meet and maybe that is why I’m so  comfortable in their presence.  I am the youngest of 6 children, my dad is the third of 7 and all of his siblings live in Utah.  His other 6 siblings had at least 8 children each so I have around 55 first cousins.  As I have grown my relationships with my first cousins has diminished and I wish I was still close to them but life moves fast and it is hard to get all together.  Yet, when I help a family who has just delivered a new baby I usually meet first cousins if not 2nd.   What an amazing culture! 

Asian Culture

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

I learned about the importance of not touching an Asian’s head without asking for permission first.  (I wouldn’t touch any of my patient’s without explaining and asking permission first but was an interesting thing to learn.)  I also learned not to show the bottom of your feet or touch the patient with your feet.  (This seems reasonable as feet are disgusting)

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

There is a common theme throughout this class of the need to effectively communicate with all of the patient’s we care for.  It is so important to involve translators for any care that we provide to someone who doesn’t speak english.  If there is not access to a physical translator at my work we have an iPad service in which we can get almost any language and then we hold the iPad and there is a person who translates our conversations. 

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I think the Asian Culture is very interesting and so completely different from the Western culture.  My husband has been to China many times for work and I am always surprised by his stories and the food he has brought home.  His experiences has influences my own feelings toward the culture in a positive manner.  The people I have interacted with have always been very giving and kind.  They go out of their way to make a person feel comfortable and welcome.  They seem to have a very close standing distance which doesn’t bother me but my husband always has a struggle adjusting to on his visits.  I desperately want to travel to China and plan on occupying my husband in May, right after I get my bachelor degree:)

Judaism

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

This culture is one that doesn’t always want to be defined as a culture.  In reading the articles I chose to read it discussed how many different terms could be used to describe Judaism.  A religion, culture, nation, heritage and a family.  I found it very interesting how someone could be Jewish but not believe in the religion of Judaism or even be an atheist.  I also learned more about the Kosher diet and besides taking pork out of my diet I could see myself eating only kosher meat because how much they regulate the process.

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

As with many of the other cultures it is important to communicate with your patient.  Find out what is needed for them to feel comfortable living within their cultural beliefs while in the hospital.  Do they practice eating kosher? Do they have a unique prayer schedule where they don’t want to be disturbed during certain times?  Do they have any special needs for them to feel comfortable.  These should be assessed with every patient as some our very devout and some believe in practicing in different ways or not at all.

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I have always been intrigued by the Jewish culture as I am a Christian.  There belief that Christ had not come yet differs with my own but that does not mean that they aren’t “Christian” in a way.  The believe in Christ but that he hasn’t come yet.  They believe in living a good life and helping and serving those around them.  I think there belief of living in the moment and not being consumed with the after life is a good way of living life.  Focusing on living a good and fulfilling life instead of worrying about something that is going to happen not matter what we do, death, is a idea I like.  It is not like thinking “eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we die.”  But instead do good, serve, love, laugh, and live your best life because it is the right thing to do and we will be happier living that way.   

Native American Culture

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.  

I learned about their high respect for mother nature and the earth.   I also learned about the different interpretations of the dream catcher.  The dream catcher isn’t only about catching good dreams but also about filtering the bad dreams away.  I learned about their strong belief in prayer which I found very interesting considering how similar that one truth is between many different religions and cultures.  My personal belief is that prayer is a powerful healer and that is shared by many religions and cultures.

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I think there can be a lot of good in using complementary care in our treatments.  Many in the Native American culture like to have a mixture of allopathic care and complementary care.  I would be respectful of their beliefs and allow many visitors as some of their ceremonies include prayers with a large group of family and community for healing.  Also they put special emphasis in  certain objects like feathers or stones and I would respect their desire to keep these objects with them if possible.

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

In someways I envy their deep connection to earth and sometime simpler existence.  I don’t want to overgeneralize but some live without a lot of media and distraction and enjoy the beauties of this earth and try to be in balance with nature.   I like their holistic approach to healing and being healthy .

Deaf Culture

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

I learned that most deaf people do not believe that being deaf is a disability but instead that it actually enhances  and enriches their life.  They find that the way they communicate makes it so they have strong connections and relationships with those around them.  I also found out that there is a big debate on cochlear implants and children.  

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

It took ASL thirteen years ago in college and absolutely loved it.  I don’t remember much.  But one of the things the deaf instructor signed to us was that it is impolite to sign just using the alphabet.  She signed that it is too slow and most deaf patients prefer it written down for quicker and smoother communication.  If  I had a deaf patient I would make sure to give them eye contact when speaking to them.  Also some read lips if that is the case it is important not to cover your mouth or turn when speaking.  Expression is huge part of deaf communication so it’s important to be expressive.  

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I think the deaf culture is amazing and have always thought it was so awesome the way they communicate.  Their ability to really “listen” when someone is “talking” to them makes me want to be a better communicator.  After this unit I really have a desire to be a better listener and take the time to really connect and communicate with the people around me.  It is a very beautiful culture. 

Hispanic/Latin

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

There are some stereotypes that you deal with when studying any culture.  The more I study different religions and different cultures I realize it all comes down to true communication.  Not the kind we do in are life when we go through the expected social norms.  The “how are you doing?”  Where we only want to hear “good.”  There are many traditions in the Hispanic culture I was unaware of like the balancing of hot and cold humors.  But is this what all Hispanics believe?  The only way to provide true cultural competent care to your patient’s is to truly communicate.  To truly listen and understand.  It is good to understand a culture but if you don’t take the time to know your patient it doesn’t matter how much you know.  

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I took care of a Hispanic women in the past who after delivery wanted heat packs, luke warm drinking water, and warm blankets every hour.  I remember being a little annoyed that she was so demanding.  Now with the understanding I have gained I can see how important this care is to the patient.      

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I love the Hispanic people!  I feel like the Hispanic people I have had experiences with have just been the most giving and friendly people.  I have a sister-in-law that is Hispanic and I feel like she is one of my best friends and a real sister.  I hope to learn Spanish once I am done with school.

Muslim

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

I learned that there is three main different sects and within each sect there is many other sects.  They believe in the eating the halal diet which includes not eating pork, anything meat that isn’t killed in the proper way, and any type of alcohol even if it is included in medicine.  They also believe that women shouldn’t be touched by any male except their husband.  I also found out that different sects and individuals hold to these ideals differently just like in many other religions.  The best way to find out what a person would like for their care is to ask them.

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I think the better we understand a culture the better care we can give.  If we understand it is important for a women to only be seen by another women care giver we can take the time to make sure that this happens. 

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I am surprised to see the similarities between the different religions.  There is a lot of common beliefs among each religion.  Prayer is a very constant theme though in the Muslim religion, they really set time apart to pray.  I think it is an interesting religion that involves a lot of sacrifice and obedience.  There is a strong push within the religion for women to have certain roles and for men to fit into certain roles.  This would be one of many things that would be hard for me to conform to.  I enjoy working and being a mother and my husband loves being a dad and working.  We enjoy the sharing of the roles and the equality of our different strengths in both roles.  

Week 7: Catholicism

1. Share what you learned about the culture being studied.

I learned surprisingly a lot.  I thought I understood the Catholic culture well but I really didn’t know as much as I though I did.  Catholic’s have death rituals, birth rituals, baptism rituals, wedding rituals, certain prayers for certain occasions, lots of different sects, and a lot of organization within their church.  It was interesting when I was watching the youtube video of a Catholic priest talking on prayer.  It sounded a lot like what I learned growing up in the LDS religion.  I guess I thought it would sound a lot different.  I didn’t realize that the Catholic say personal prayer to God, I thought they only said memorized prayers.  

2. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

Skylar’s article on death rituals was eye opening for me.  I haven’t dealt with death luckily on my floor, mom/baby, but now if I ever do and the patient is Catholic I will know it’s important to ask if they want a priest called.  In my nursing practice it is important to me to provide the best care for the patient.  I believe that means being aware of their beliefs and help achieve the best care for their culture.  

3. Your personal feelings about the culture covered.

I like the Catholic culture as it is Christian, which makes it more familiar to me.  I personally believe in Jesus Christ so it makes sense I would be more comfortable with this culture.  Their beliefs are more in line with mine, I love their death rituals because if I was facing death or serious surgery I think it would be a comfort to visit with someone on my beliefs before.  The only thing that is uncomfortable to me is the memorized prayers.  It hard for me to see if these prayers would have real meaning and not just be lip service.  I respect their religion and don’t want to offend, it is the one part I have found that I don’t fully understand.