Service Learning:Oasis of Hope Rebecca joostens, RN
INTRODUCTION • Service Learning is a requirement of Ferris State University’s RN to BSN program. The intent of this requirement is to assist in the development of the student’s professional career through self-development. • The purpose of this presentation is to share information regarding the service for which I volunteered as well as to describe how I have met my service learning objectives. • I completed 24 hours of volunteer work in 2013 at Heritage Christian at the Fair which is a full service restaurant that runs for 1 week every year during a local fair. All proceeds are to defray tuition costs for the students of the Christian School. After completing these hours, I realized I wanted an opportunity to volunteer within my field. I then completed an additional 15 hours at a Medical clinic called Oasis of Hope, I will focus on this opportunity for the completion of this project.
AGENCY: Oasis of Hope “Providing Hope in Jesus’ Name” SERVICES Services include but are not limited to: Medication management Chronic disease management dermatology services Diabetic education Counseling and depression services acupuncture
AGENCY DESCRIPTION • “Our vision is a community where hope is restored by having basic health needs addressed in a Christ-centered environment” • “Our mission is to provide hope through low cost/free medical care and basic life-skills education to the economically disadvantaged and uninsured of the west-side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in Jesus’ name.” • Offers medical services for: • Individuals with no health insurance (private, government or other) • Have annual income less than 200% of national poverty level • Oasis of Hope (2011)
OBJECTIVES • My personal objectives of this project include: • Professional growth development • Develop further management skills • Synthesis of learning and objectives of the nursing program • Development of understanding of community health • Develop knowledge of my community’s available medical resources for the underserved and under insured.
ACTIVITIES TO MEET OBJECTIVES • I would like to participate in referral processes and assessment of other available community services to better learn and understand available resources and what needs still exist. • I would like to participate in patient assessment to better understand this population’s health status • I would like to observe physicians and/or mid-level providers in their assessment and plan creation to understand how free clinic interventions differ from paid services. • I would like to provide patient education to continue to develop my skills as a nurse in an environment of low income, underserved individuals.
VOLUNTEER (actual) ROLE DESCRIPTION • Chronic disease and medication education • Rooming patients • Vitals, history of present illness, health history, current therapy assessment • Report summary to providers • Sports physical clinic assistance (SnellenVision test, vitals, health history) • Basic clerical duties • Scheduling • Check in/ check out • Completion of consent to treat and other forms • Community Networking • Assist patients in completion of Patient Assistance Programs, a free medication distribution program for underserved individuals • Referrals to other non-profit/ charity groups for consults, testing, procedures etc
CRITICAL REFLECTION • Initial thoughts: I was fairly nervous about what my role would include. I was hoping that my training and experience had equipped me well enough to meet the needs of the role. I was also nervous about having an adequate enough knowledge of resources available to underserved, underinsured individuals • Assumptions: Having worked in a primary care clinic for several years, I assumed the patient flow and overall work flows would be very similar. • Information attained: • I realized that whatever role I was able to fill, the clinical coordinator, and all other volunteers were just happy that I was there. • My experience thus far had prepared me well for the workflow of a clinic • My assumption of how the clinic would flow, I realized was missing a significant detail: lack of funds to provide the clinic with the luxury tools that we have in for profit clinics.
CRITICAL REFLECTION, continued • Changes to thought process regarding agency: Initially I was a little frustrated that it didn’t seem like we were being as efficient as possible but quickly learned that they were doing amazing work with the tools and resources they were able to obtain. It was very eye-opening to realize how many tools the typical clinic has available to them and how little a free clinic makes due with. • Service learning in general: This experience has impacted my current role and will better equip me to coordinate services for any underinsured or financially at-risk patients I come into contact with
Additional Learning • At my initial volunteer opportunity (Heritage Christian at the Fair), I was able to fulfill general kitchen manager. This helped me to learn to jump into a role of large responsibility in a new environment and learn to manage several “employees” in such a way that we are all working towards the same goal. • I felt this was similar to the medical field in that there are several moving pieces and can get very stressful when there are several people in need of your services. I was able to apply the same concepts of prioritization according to most critical problem. • I’m hopeful of pursuing a leadership position in the future and know that this experience will help me in my future.
SYNTHESIS • I feel I accomplished professional growth development through the opportunity to assess another population and also learn some management skills. • I have been able to synthesis the learning and objectives of the nursing program by implementing the theories of nursing, population health concepts and management concepts I have learned in the program. • I have developed an understanding of community health by seeking out and pursuing a population in my community I had not yet worked with. • I have developed knowledge of my community’s available medical resources by identifying this clinics services as well as the services of other clinics they refer to.
RECOMMENDATIONS • I recommend every nurse participates in volunteer activities for several reasons • Personal feeling of accomplishment in the service of others • Learning about other populations that you may not otherwise encounter • Learn to work with other clinicians in other environments • Challenging yourself in another clinical area provides more experience base and assist you in adapting to new scenarios in the future • Identify and learn to overcome new barriers
AGENCY CONTACT • Oasis of Hope: • Name: Rita Rodrigues • Title: Clinical Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator • Phone: 616.451.8868 • Street Address: 522 Leonard str NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504 • Email: email@example.com • Heritage Christian at the Fair • Name: Lisa DeBoer • Committee member, volunteer coordinator • Phone: 616.447.4205
REFERENCES • Oasis of Hope. (2011). About us. Retrieved from http://www.ohcgr.org/index.html