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.