Practicum Reflection and Lifelong Education
Completing the project was one of the most challenging activities in my education life, but I enjoyed it, primarily upon realizing that I could finish it successfully. I enjoyed many parts of the project, especially studying the approaches I could take to improve the lives of older people struggling with congestive heart failure. Although I faced some challenges, the success of the project was rewarding.
One of the main challenges in completing the project was getting information about educating the elderly. The population is so advanced in age that education programs do not seem like the best interventions. Besides, many are unprepared to learn new things. Another challenge in the project was determining the best educational materials to meet the educational needs of the elderly. The third challenge was getting them to cooperate and receive information from a younger educator. Finally, encouraging them to focus on learning without appearing disrespectful was an issue.
Solutions to challenges
Regardless of the challenges, I completed the project. One of the solutions was proper preparation. I learned a lesson from Fahner et al. (2019) that intervention programs require adequate preparation and planning, especially collecting as much information as possible about the project from the early stages. I spent time reviewing online databases to find information about what other researchers have done on the topic. Open communication was also an effective strategy because, as Dillon et al. (2017) suggest, it makes participants feel respected and included in the project. I used the language that they all understood to address communication issues.
Insights, Lessons, Knowledge, and Experience
The project and the whole course generated essential insights, lessons, knowledge, and valuable experience for future projects. Firstly, the project taught me how to patiently search for evidence to support interventions. Secondly, I learned to review databases and sources for relevant information to apply to my project. Thirdly, I experienced the art of working with patients and educating them about their health. I learned to communicate with them in their language and listen to them to understand their needs. Finally, successfully addressing cultural challenges was a great experience.
Although I have completed the project successfully, this is not the end of my study. I plan to continue learning about the current knowledge in helping elderly patients with congestive heart failure. Considering that their population is increasing, developing interventions to continue meeting their needs is essential. One of my goals is to study three journals every week about available interventions to support elderly patients with congestive heart failure. I also plan to hold a discussion once every week with my peers to discuss new developments in this area. I plan to continue working with my project supervisor, including calling him and having physical meetings whenever I have a problem or question. I will meet with the patients in my project at least once every two weeks and call them weekly to determine their progress toward behavior change. I will share any information I learned with them as I continue studying the problem and effective solutions.
Overall, I have completed one of the most challenging projects in my career. However, regardless of the challenge, I enjoyed the project, and its success gave me satisfaction. In addition, I have learned critical lessons to use in future educational and practical projects.
Dillon, E. C., Stults, C. D., Wilson, C., Chuang, J., Meehan, A., Li, M., … & Tai-Seale, M. (2017). An evaluation of two interventions to enhance patient-physician communication using the observer OPTION5 measure of shared decision making. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(10), 1910-1917.
Fahner, J. C., Beunders, A. J., van der Heide, A., Rietjens, J. A., Vanderschuren, M. M., van Delden, J. J., & Kars, M. C. (2019). Interventions guiding advance care planning conversations: a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 20(3), 227-248.