Thursday, December 10, 2009

Service Learning in Regards to Career Goals

To be frank I really had to ponder awhile about how my service learning experience could impact my future career goals and ambitions. After giving it much thought I realized that community organization can go together hand in hand with what I'm doing now, public health nursing. Through public outreach I feel that in future endeavors I will be able to gain knowledge of community resources which will allow me to pass the information on to my clients who often times depend on such resources just to get by. This type of effort may also help on a more personal note as well.........gaining more self confidence and improving assertive communication which is an essential skill for any profession regardless of his or her occupation.

Skills Learned Through Service Learning

At the beginning of my service learning project I had an interest in politics, current events, etc but didn't really know how to put my interest to work for me or my community for that matter. Because of my partner through this experience, Harley Mikkelson, I'm slowly learning more about grassroots movements and community organization. As I type this, official paperwork is being prepared to facilitate this type of movement specifically catering to Tuscola County. I realize that this is going to take great effort especially personally for me to come out of my shell so-to-speak. It's a work in progress nevertheless. As previously mentioned in past postings, Harley has been an official Green Party candidate for various elected offices over the recent years. He has been encouraging me to join him in this effort citing that there always seems to be a lack of serious candidates in this state at election time. Generally I just assume to keep my personal life just that, personal so needless to say at this point I am politely declining to go so far as to actually run for any type of position, however, having said that, when it comes to assisting him in his efforts I am more than willing to jump in with both feet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What I have Learned

For what seems like years I've often been upset that resources available in larger cities aren't available in my small town. Through the service learning project I've learned that many of these resources are available, the problem is that many people just don't know about them. While attending the official meeting of the "FlintGreens" a couple of weeks ago, I was able to meet with a couple of individuals who may be able to assist me in professional endeavors at the workplace. So I suppose a good lesson learned would simply be to look around a little closer and one may be able to find what it is he or she needs.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Service Learning Project

For my service learning project I have partnered up with Harley Mikkelson who is the Vice President of the Tuscola County Green Party and also co-chairs the Flint Greens. In the world of politics not much is usually discussed in regards to what many call "third parties". The Green Party essentially has a liberal viewpoint in regards to social and economic issues. Probably one of the most well known members of this organization is Ralph Nader, who was viewed by many to be a viable presidential candidate in the 2000 and 2004 election. There are currently websites available to those who would like more information on the values held by those affiliated with the Green Party. However, at this time there is not one specifically for residents of Tuscola County. My hope is to successfully create one that the current members would be proud of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Service Learning

Service Learning offers a unique opportunity to students and members of the community alike. It combines the components of volunteering to improve certain aspects of one's neighborhood with education to improve one's understanding of certain societal impacts. There appears to be a whole service learning movement going on in the United States today. There are various websites, organizations, and even scholarships available to ensure the success of these projects. In this writer's opinion the best opportunities for such projects are those that aide not-for-profit organizations in these tough economic times. The idea of service learning on behalf of religious institutions has been tossed around but realistically it seems only fair to disregard such establishments for the purposes of the aforementioned opportunities because while they enjoy the privilege of having a tax-exempt status, many of them refuse to stay out of the political arena. If any reader is finds themselves intrigued by the topic of service learning, he or she can access the links available to the right of this blog.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Social Networking Sites vs. Professional Networking Sites

In this ever changing world of technology networking sites are quickly replacing more traditional methods of conversing and even job searching. Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook have been popularized across generational lines. Websites such as these are used to catch up with old friends, update current friends on one's present activities, share photos, and so much more. Along with socializing, networking websites such as LinkedIn can also be utilized by professionals to look for a job, look for a better job, or maybe even just keep one's options open in regards to employment opportunities. Because of the popularity of these websites potential employers are frequently relying on these sources to provide information on potential candidates for a position within their companies. It is important for anyone who cares about their professional reputation to keep this fact in mind. When using various networking sites Do maintain a professional appearance. Don't post any potentially damaging information such as what happened in Las Vegas last weekend or photos of yourself drinking from a beer bong. Do post positive information such as any volunteer work one may provide for his or her community or how one did a superb job on a presentation at work. Don't use offensive language. Instead when one has a bad day, discuss suggestions for how one could improve the situation next time. In regards to professional networking sites it may be beneficial to upload any letters of recognition that one receives. It validates one's stance as a valued employee

Professional Language and Culture in the Workplace

The field of nursing in itself is vast and infinite. Regardless of what specific area one chooses to embark on, one thing remains the same..........the need for effective communication. Because nurses find themselves actively communicating with various types of people IE. fellow health care professionals, patients with a variety of complaints and illnesses, religious figures such as a priest or a minister, and even some who come from an entirely different culture that may speak little to no English, it is of vital importance that nurses understand the critical role that communication plays in the workplace. For example the way a nurse would speak to a doctor or fellow nurse is typically different then the way he or she may speak to a patient. The average nurse understands that patients can't always be expected to understand medical jargon. Therefore when providing patient teaching it is essential to explain things in a simple manner that is easily understood by the average person. However, one mustn't also "dumb it down" so to speak in such a manner that the patient is insulted. On the other hand, if a nurse were to speak in the previously described manner to a fellow health care provider, that nurse may appear unintelligent and unprofessional. Nurses must also understand the state of mind of their patients. For example someone who is heavily sedated, just coming out of surgery is much less likely to understand any education provided then someone who is ready to be discharged home after recovering from an acute illness. One must always consider nonverbal communication as well in any type of environment. It is important to be mindful of any gestures, whether intentional or not, that one is portraying. If a patient asks a nurse a question and he or she folds his or her arms followed by an eye roll, the patient is not going to be likely to ask any more pertinent questions because of the offensive response he or she just received. Much like like communication that a nurse portrays, it is vital that he or she be attentive to various forms of communication as well. Active listening is just as important when communicating as speaking.