A Senior nurse mentor

In caring for Mr. Eric (pseudonym), I constantly took care of his nursing needs and
assisted in various ways. While caring for him, a relative visited him and was puzzled by Mr.
Eric’s inability to recognize her. She tried talking to him but it was not possible to establish a
conversation. As the nurse in charge, I helped her realize that dementia causes such effects on a
person. As they interacted, Mr. Eric stood up and started walking while uttering words to
himself. He entered into the next ward without warning and it made the relative to call for help.
Being aware of the situation at hand, I understood that he stood at a risk of getting injuries or
infections through contact with other patients. I quickly his hand and tried to reassure him and
put him back in a composed state. The relative as well felt sad on observing the deteriorating
condition of her loved one. Overall, experience in caregiving for a dementia patient provided a
unique challenge and opportunity as reflected through the Gibbs model.

Description

In my nursing experience as an attaché, I worked in a male ward under the guidance of a
senior nurse mentor. I provided care for a seventy-seven-year-old man, Mr. Eric (pseudonym),
who was suffering from dementia. Due to the poor cognitive and emotional functioning, I helped
him in various ways revolving around his daily life. Most dementia patients’ conditions present
with loneliness, ambiguous loss, missed communication, and forgetfulness (Baillie, Cox, and
Merritt, 2012). I always engaged the patient in conversations and provided the necessary care
under the senior nurse’s supervision. I ensured to examine his condition, without either pushing
him to take his medication or forcing him to take his meals. I as well noted that my patient
required assistance in bathing and personal hygiene. While providing care, I was concerned that
the failure to take keen attention could cause harm to his health.

Care Study 2

Feelings

I was extremely overwhelmed by the experience, as I had expected the patient to remain
in bed most of the time which was not the case. I felt challenged as I understood that the senior
nurse was highly experienced and I was afraid of using a wrong approach to care as a nursing
student. While the patient suffered from ambiguous loss, there is a need to ensure a close
interaction to keep him engaged and lively (Alushi, Hammond, and Wood, 2015). When the
relative visited him, I gave her some advice on ambiguous loss to avoid any embarrassing
moments. Later, I communicated with the senior nurse about concerns in instances where Mr.
Eric walked into another ward. He recommended close attention to his movements.
As a new experience, I felt affirmative aspects of caregiving. It provided a way of giving
back to the elderly population and offered an opening to cultivate some fundamental traits such
as patience, compassion, empathy, and acceptance (Potter, 2015). The provision of nursing care
proved an unexpected task for me as my patient’s health status deteriorated and presented an
important shift in caregiving. I had not anticipated that I would have to support him with
personal care needs such as dressing, toileting, or washing. As care needs changed, it remained
important to draw on my lessons in nursing and it gave me the courage to display my pride and
my capability to successfully accomplish the caregiving task.
Evaluation

The experience was fundamentally necessary for my professional advancement. I remain
grateful that I got the opportunity to tap into the senior nurse’s experience before and after
providing care to Mr. Eric. Consequently, I felt pleased that the nurse and the patient’s relatives
responded positively to the advice I gave, and I hope they utilize it each time they visit him. I

Care Study 3

also observed that nurses keep improving their caring practices as a result of the rising
incidences of dementia (Lea et al., 2015). The experience provided valuable lessons, as it trained
me in caring for patients suffering from dementia. It also emphasized the significance of dealing
assertively with different situations towards safeguarding the patients’ well-being. 

Analysis

According to McKenzie and Brown (2014), upon being placed in institutional facilities,
persons with dementia seem at loss due to their poor cognitive and emotional functioning.
Consequently, they face challenges due to their inability to form facility-based social networks.
The condition makes them unable to interact with other persons or talk over their life’s
experiences. Having been in a care environment and taking care of a person suffering from
dementia, I understood the psychological and social effects of living with the condition (Scerri
and Scerri, 2013). Although much research exists regarding the support and services needed for
the successful management of individuals with dementia, the experience proves a lot more
wholesome. It remains fundamental to ensure their welfare at all times.

Conclusion

Caring for a patient suffering from dementia highlighted the progress achieved in nursing
care. With all the characteristics presented by such patients, continuous measures of improving
care remain crucial (Baillie, Merritt, Cox, and Crichton, 2015). Consequently, it is necessary to
underline that a therapeutic experience for such persons remains tied to the quality of care
provided by the nursing fraternity (Watts and Davies, 2014). Recommendations require nurses
to act decisively in identifying and minimizing the risk to patients. As a student nurse who

Care Study 4
provided care for Mr. Eric under the senior nurse’s supervision, this recommendation directly
applies to my practice at all times.

Action Plan

The major aim of nursing care is to provide support for all categories of patients. Where
incapacitating conditions occur such as dementia, the nurse needs to provide intensive care at the
facility in a better way than at home (Becker, 2016). Relatives of persons in receipt of the facility
care at the utmost dementia level have been shown to experience greater satisfaction and better
outcomes when under proficient care (Richardson, Percy, and Hughes, 2015). In the future, I aim
to develop specific skills when working with patients with dementia, towards ensuring that the
well-being of patients is promoted. In my next facility, I intend to make this a professional
development goal and will engage this with senior nurses to work out approaches towards
achieving it.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths
As a nursing student, one of the major strengths rests in the ability to adopt evidence-
based practices. The expectation to encounter different scenarios using the latest practices in
nursing offers the promise of propelling forward my career. Being a highly efficient and
organized person, I will be able to utilize existing research practices and using them to enhance
patient care. My ability to link with different experienced nurses allows me to tap into their skills
towards enhancing patient care. Possessing strong communication skills and emotional
intelligence enables me to interact swiftly with patients and act assertively.
Weaknesses

Care Study 5
Understanding personal weaknesses remain paramount for a student nurse. I enjoy face-
to-face interactions and working in situations that deny face time with patients affects job
satisfaction. I also thrive in a consultative environment which makes me less inclined to work as
a solitary professional.
Opportunities
My career presents with different opportunities to move to different cities and gain vast
experience. An opportunity also presents through the senior nurse who offered to provide
mentorship towards supporting my professional growth. Different research opportunities present
where I’ll explore new evidence-based practices of approaching global problems. All these
opportunities seek to advance my career as a professional nurse.
Threats
Important threats exist in my career that may affect my capability to advance my
professional development. Having a passion for nursing, continuous technological advancement
poses a threat of downsizing across facilities. While not a personal element, it nonetheless
threatens my career. The other threat is my family obligations which may impede my progress
towards advancing my studies to the next levels.

Care Study 6

References

Alushi, L., Hammond, J.A., and Wood, J.H., 2015. Evaluation of dementia education programs
for pre-registration healthcare students—a review of the literature. Nurse Education
Today, 35(9), pp.992-998.
Baillie, L., Cox, J., and Merritt, J., 2012. Caring for older people with dementia in hospital part
one: Challenges. Nursing Older People, 24(8).
Baillie, L., Merritt, J., Cox, J. and Crichton, N., 2015. Confidence and expectations about caring
for older people with dementia: A cross-sectional survey of student nurses. Educational
Gerontology, 41(9), pp.670-682.
Becker, R., 2016. Fundamental Aspects of Palliative Care Nursing 2nd Edition: An Evidence-
Based Handbook for Student Nurses (Vol. 3). Andrews UK Limited.
Lea, E., Marlow, A., Bramble, M., Andrews, S., Eccleston, C., McInerney, F. and Robinson, A.,

  1. Improving student nurses’ aged care understandings through a supported
    placement. International Nursing Review, 62(1), pp.28-35.
    McKenzie, E.L. and Brown, P.M., 2014. Nursing students’ intentions to work in dementia care:
    influence of age, ageism, and perceived barriers. Educational Gerontology, 40(8),
    pp.618-633.
    Potter, C., 2015. Leadership development: an applied comparison of Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle and
    Scharmer’s Theory U. Industrial and Commercial Training.
    Richardson, C., Percy, M. and Hughes, J., 2015. Nursing therapeutics: Teaching student nurses
    care, compassion and empathy. Nurse Education Today, 35(5), pp.e1-e5.

Care Study 7
Scerri, A. and Scerri, C., 2013. Nursing students’ knowledge and attitudes towards dementia—A
questionnaire survey. Nurse Education Today, 33(9), pp.962-968.
Watts, T.E. and Davies, R., 2014. Tensions and ambiguities: A qualitative study of final year
adult field nursing students’ experiences of caring for people affected by advanced
dementia in Wales, UK. Nurse education today, 34(8), pp.1149-1154.

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