People volunteer for varied reasons such as to meet new people, help the people in need, share skills, and knowledge, or because they want to be part of an extraordinary event. I participated in Making Strides Against Breast cancer event organized by American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) in Dayton Fifth Third Field on October 21, 2017. I volunteered in one of the booths where I helped Julie A. Turner, an employee of the American Cancer Society. I was involved in asking people to fill out forms designed to ask the Congress to offer financial support of an additional $1 billion in funding breast cancer prevention programs and cancer research. I helped the organization by asking volunteers to give reasons why they attended the event and sign the thumbprint tree that was to be placed in the Kettering Cancer Center where everyone could see. They wrote their names or those of family members who survived or still have the breast cancer.
My goal was to be part of a new Service Learning Project that I have never participated in and strove to help people in that field. The event was successful and made an impact in my life because the course learning outcomes were met. For example, I learned how nurses could influence population health by engaging in service opportunities. The event gave me an avenue to get engaged in learning-centered experiences that promote lifelong personal and professional growth within the scope of baccalaureate nursing practice and apply steps of evidence-based practice to a quality improvement project. Furthermore, I communicated therapeutically to the patients and participated in a simulation exercise in analyzing data relevant to cancer patients. I was also able to give a summary of the effects of the physiological, psychosocial, sociocultural, developmental, and spiritual variables impacting the health of the patients as well as a display of professionalism and Christian caring in interactions with the patients and other volunteers.
The volunteering experience has strengthened my knowledge and skills such as the ability to work with other people, take directions, and communication skills. My attitude towards cancer patients and their family members changed because I encouraged them that the Congress is going to increase the funds for cancer research. This experience has changed the way I view myself and the world as I can now appreciate everything I have and give back to the less fortunate. My perspective has taken a new turn because, through this project, I was able to help the patients and their family members to overcome the struggles and trials they face. If I could repeat this experience, I would walk with rest of the people to support Breast Cancer patients because I have a family member who survived this disease and I know what she went through.
My involvement in the exercise has influenced my desire to work in professional nursing practice as well as solidifying my dedication in this field because nursing programs require dedicated students. I was inspired by the humanity and devotion of nurses who volunteered in the event to comfort the patients. This immensely motivated me to gain new and exciting knowledge which will drive me to give unsurpassed help to sick people. Through the interaction with patients and family members, l learned that these patients need people for comfort and strength. They need support inform of friends, online support communities, and cancer support groups.
To tackle the challenges faced by the family members, the nursing profession should coordinate the care needed by the family caregiver because improving the health care status of the caregiver is instrumental. They are susceptible to emotional suffering and a variety of medical conditions (Wittenberg et al., 2017). The healthcare journal by Wittenberg et al. (2017) gave me insights of what the family members who double up as caregivers face while helping the cancer patients. For them to live a quality life, they need spiritual, psychological, social, and physical well-being.
Wittenberg, E., Borneman, T., Koczywas, M., Ferraro, C. D., & Ferrell, B. (2017). Cancer Communication and Family Caregiver Quality of Life. Behavioral Sciences, 7(1), 12. doi:10.3390/bs7010012.
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