The adventure of working together as a group to acquire the essential skills and knowledge regarding community health nursing has been one of the most illuminating experiences in learning the course. In what initially seemed to be a disruption to the conventional process of undergoing the training, the experience of coming together as aspiring nurses with varied skills and talents has proved to occupy a pivotal position in the process of training professionals in the medical fraternity. The journey for the group has been riddled with not only several opportunities to develop individual skills but also presented a myriad of challenges that have shaped the personalities of the members as would-be nurses. As the group closes, the overall assessment can be termed as a success in imparting skills and knowledge as well as exposing the learners to the practical aspects of nursing.
As Chinn (2013) notes, working as a group to deliver community service enable the participants to share from one another's experiences and strengths to the benefit of the targeted communities. The team seemed to take the structure of an amorphous organization at its initial stages, but the willingness of the members to pursue a common purpose enabled the members to gel and embrace the diversity of new 'family members'. The group has evolved from an appendage of individuals who knew little about each other to a homogenous association that has exhibited exceptional ability to deal with the patient issues while nurturing personal endowments within the group. Also, the group's take-off benefited greatly from the lessons learned from Kaner's (2014) values of full participation in group actions. This was demonstrated in the members' readiness to embrace each other for the purpose of the group. Embracing the postulations of Chinn (2013) regarding leadership, the members opted against endorsing a particular individual for the entire engagement process. As the team solidified as a unit, however, some members were supported by consensus as heads of sub-teams on consideration of their knowledge and leadership qualities.
Relationship development was a critical phase of the journey the group traveled. This step enabled members to share their understanding of the various obligations that come with the nursing profession. The sharing of information conducted in the various meetings that were held to deliberate on several issues regarding the delivery of healthcare to the communities instilled a shared value and promoted unity of purpose. Initially, the meetings did not generate sufficient attention from the members but the situation improved after an initiative was launched by the members to familiarize with one another about their attitudes and values regarding the goal of the group. Besides, members agreed that suggestions be given concerning the mode of operation of the group, and this avenue enabled the group to establish a common ground on the code of conduct and the responsibilities and obligation of every member towards a sustainable partnership. The continuous partnership allowed the group to build on the strengths of the members for the benefit of the organization. Over time, the group members acquired competencies that facilitated smooth execution of action plans set out at group meetings.
According to Chinn(2013), it is important for team members to do critical reflection at what has been achieved, appreciate the contribution and re-emphasize the need to remain steadfast to the group's purpose during the closure of gatherings .Chinn argues that this session is crucial for the evaluation of the group's performance. The prescription worked well with the group in many areas. During the meeting, members reflected on the action plans and the achievements, and this enabled members to identify the challenges and chat the way forward. Also, the members were also able to share the challenges each sub-group was facing, and individuals with appropriate knowledge in the identified areas of difficulties were appointed to spearhead the health actions. The process of identifying the mentioned persons was done through volunteerism. This session proved that in spite of the fact that the group members were taking the same course, diversity was evident due to the different skills and levels of information exhibited during the reflections. The segment further worked well with regards to the boosting of the esteem of the members, especially to those who encountered emotionally -draining challenges in the process of implementing the action plans.
The bonding into a unit was one of the challenges that the group faced. The problem originated from the differences in attitudes, commitments, and communication skills among the members. Such situations proved to be a source of conflicts on various issues, particularly in the initial stages. Although Chinn(2013) notes that these conflicts are essential for better understanding of each other, a lot of time was spent haggling over issues that would have been solved had there been a good understanding of each other's uniqueness in responding to issues. In effect, members could not build sustainable agreements. Besides, the lack of a substantive leader caused some teething problems as members had not developed the adequate bonding to genuinely lead discussions nor contribute to the deliberations. Furthermore, the absence of some members due to family issues denied the groups the chance to benefit from their skills and abilities. Although these incidents were isolated, some of them had an adverse impact on the affected members' ability to contribute to discussions.
The group exercise has played a significant role in building interpersonal skills. While working with the other members, I was able to share experiences through the several interactions held in clinical outings and action plan gatherings. Here, members exchanged perspectives on the community health care issues, which included discussions about challenges nurses encounter in their day-to-day delivery of healthcare services to the public. These experiences not only allowed members to exchange ideas but also contributed to the enhancement of relationship building skills which are essential while attending patients in hospitals. Also, the group improved my communications skills. Through group deliberations, each member got the opportunity to express personal views concerning shared values of the group. The experience fostered personal confidence before people as well as encouraged the use of diplomatic engagements to solve issues.
The experiences acquired during the group engagements offer several opportunities in the nursing profession. In particular, the communication skills acquired will accord me an edge when handling patients. These skills are vital when dealing with information in areas such as counseling, diagnosis, treatment and management of critical illnesses. Communication skills will also help in fostering teamwork with fellow workers. Good team relationships require good communication skills. Collaboration contributes to the sharing ideas and experiences in the hospital set up, and thus, help nurses to offer effective and quality services to the patients. Moreover, the discussions among group members instilled awareness about listening skills. The exchanges between group members emphasized the need to listen to a dissenting perspective no matter how one disagrees with it. Emotional intelligence is an aspect that is crucial in these circumstances. This exposure would help me in the management of the emotional aspect of patient attendance. In the same breadth, emotional awareness can assist in the management of the ethical dilemmas regarding the treatment of patients.
Chinn, P. L. (2013). Peace and Power (8th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
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