1. What Sociological Theories have been presented during the lectures to describe these population groups and associated policies? Examples
One of the most influential sociological theories which were discussed in the past weeks is the theory of mainstreaming. Personally, I thought that the rich and can-afford people will be the only ones who could be able to experience the appropriate type and amount of healthcare, especially during times of acute and chronic medical cases. What’s ironic is that those who cannot afford health care are the ones who are more vulnerable to even the simplest health threats and hazards while those who have the resources which they can trade for healthcare should it be required are the ones who are more protected against diseases. In the theory of mainstreaming, it was suggested that those individuals or even communities that are excluded by the society and cannot afford or be reached by healthcare can, like any ordinary person living in an urban community, can experience living a mainstream life. That is, living a relatively more civilized way of life where almost everything can easily be accessed. Suppose I am a poor patient that does not have the money to hire a reputable psychiatrist that could address my mental disorder. Now, thanks to the closure of psychiatric hospitals which was brought about by the approval and implementation of the mainstreaming of services, I and other persons like me could be taken care of even in normal hospitals.
2. What Forms of Knowledge have been presented? Provide Examples
For me, there can be two forms of knowledge that I can identify based on the past lectures—theoretical and practical knowledge. Contrary to popular belief, these two forms of knowledge are not really that ironic. In fact, I see them as two related bodies of knowledge because in the allied medical field, these two have to coexist. A nurse that is only good in nursing principles and theories but is poor in applying such in real practice can be regarded as useless and the same principle actually applies for a nurse that does not know essential nursing theories and principles even though he may be good when it comes to application. Basically, theoretical knowledge are information that we learn from books, handouts, long hours of lectures, tutoring and coaching sessions, and basically the information that usually pops out on major examinations. Theoretical knowledge is important because for me, it serves as a foundation where the practical knowledge could be attached to. Practical knowledge on the other hand is the type of knowledge we often obtain from practicing our nursing and healthcare skills. A good example would be the assessment of a patient’s vital signs. We, as nurses, are often taught how to obtain vital signs—pertain to pulse and respiratory rates, body temperature, and blood pressure, during our early years of students as nurses. By the time that we learn how to obtain a person’s vital signs, the knowledge that we obtained can already be considered practical knowledge because that only means we will already be able to execute something because we have already done it.
3. How does the information presented in these lectures confirm, challenge, or change your existing perceptions?
I have always been moved by the way how the medical communities, as a whole, in some developing and even in some developed countries disregard some of the needs of the elderly and mentally ill patients. I seriously feel sad whenever I see an elderly or a mentally ill patient being mistreated by a medical practitioner simply because he—the patient, cannot complain or respond properly for some reason. As a healthcare provider, or to be more specific, as a nurse, our job is to make every patient’s stay at the hospital worthwhile and as comfortable as possible. I believe that that is the main reason why we are there and that if we could not make that happen, it would be better for us to quit our jobs because we would just be causing more complications in the already complicated healthcare system of the country. I learned from the lectures discussing the ideal healthcare environment or system for elderly and mentally ill patients that unlike normal patients, these patients have special needs. A mentally ill patient for example would really need a psychiatric treatment which is a form of treatment that an ordinary patient suffering from a minor Musculo-skeletal medical condition does not usually need psychiatric assistance. I have also learned about the different policies and reforms regarding the way how special patients should be treated. Personally, I view these policies as mere guidelines and not as laws because laws require you to be rigid and being rigid when it comes to practice could almost always equate to incompetence.
4. Pick one comment or statement raised by a lecturer that had an impact on you and provide name of the lecture, the statement, and why it had an impact.
For this particular question, I would want to pick the part of the Disability Lecture during week 6 that talked about the story of Christy Brown and his left foot. Instead of highlighting a particular statement, I would want the focus to be on the moral of the story. Basically the lesson of the story tells us that being disabled should never hinder a person’s potential to succeed. Christy Brown was severely handicapped by the presence of a medical condition called cerebral palsy plus the fact that he grew up in a poor, working class family. That did not stop him from becoming a famous writer and artist. This had an impact on me because the story is very inspirational. Knowing that I am not suffering from any medical condition that could lead to disablement, it serves as a strong reason for me to strive harder. It’s like thinking “if a person with disability could do it, would there be a reason for a normal person not to succeed.”
5. How can you use the information from these lectures in your future professional practice?
The information from these lectures exposes me, as a nurse, to the different types of patients or instances that I could encounter when I already work in the clinics. I know at some point, I will be able to handle a mentally ill or an elderly patient. The information from the past lectures basically prepares me for that. What’s good about the past lectures is the fact that, each lecture was focused on one condition. For example, we had one dedicated lecture for disabled patients and mentally ill patients.
6. Provide a current state or federal policy document that relates to each of the weeks 3, 4, 6, 7 and provide a link.
Government Policy on Health and Ageing-- http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/35DF1D4D4EBD8747CA257693001DEFFC/$File/13.%20Government%20policy.pdf
Australian Indigenous and Aboriginal Health Policies: http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/health-systems/policies/reviews/health-policy-timelines
WHO Mental Health Policies: http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/en/policy_plans_revision.pdf
Australian Government Disability Policy, Programs and Legislation: http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=disability+policies&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CEQQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wwda.org.au%2Fgovtdis.htm&ei=79N2ULD2CsGsiAfSjICoAg&usg=AFQjCNG1Pmerx5swSVLWzOUsL5hBCVKJxw
Australian Government. (2012). “Australian Indigenous and Aboriginal Health Policies.” Accessed Oct 2012. Available at http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/health-systems/policies/reviews/health-policy-timelines
Australian Government. (2012). “Government Policy on Health and Ageing.” Accessed Oct 2012. Available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/35DF1D4D4EBD8747CA257693001DEFFC/$File/13.%20Government%20policy.pdf
Australian Government. (2012). A”ustralian Government Disability Policy, Programs and Legislations.” Accessed October 2012. Available at http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=disability+policies&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CEQQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wwda.org.au%2Fgovtdis.htm&ei=79N2ULD2CsGsiAfSjICoAg&usg=AFQjCNG1Pmerx5swSVLWzOUsL5hBCVKJxw
Lecture Notes: Week 3 2012, ‘Indigenous health and policy’, HLTH1306, Flinders University.
Lecture Notes: Week 4 2012, ‘Mental Health Policy’, HLTH1306, Flinders University.
Lecture Notes: week 6 2012, ‘Disability & Disability policy’, HLTH1306, Flinders University.
Lecture Notes: week 7 2012, ‘Aged Care’, HLTH1306, Flinders University.
WHO. (2012). “WHO Mental health Policies. WHO.” Accessed Oct 2012. Available at http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/en/policy_plans_revision.pdf