Improving performance in the medical world through reinforcers and punsihment

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Improving performance in the medical world through reinforcers and punsihment

I am aware that it is inevitable to encounter some mishaps in the workplace, however simple the tasks may be, or no matter how expert the person is when it comes to the task he or she is supposed to do. In encountering these mishaps, one just needs to have the poise in handling them and not let that incident affect their future performance. I believe that the key idea that one must keep in mind during situations like these is the idea of recovering from the mistake and not let the clients get seriously affected by the blunder.

In my long years of service as a nurse in a medical house, I have already done some little failures in my practice of medical attendance.  One time, when I was supposed to serve the medication of the patient, I unknowingly prepared only two of the medicines she had to take when she needed three. The condition of the patient was already verging on severity that is why every part of her medication process is very crucial. The three medicines should be taken consecutively but since of my disorientation and my failure to bring the complete set of medicines, the patient was appalled after learning that the third medicine was not ready. I was also shocked and eventually got embarrassed by what I just did. I felt ashamed to the patient and gave her an apologizing look as I communicated to her non-verbally, and with careful showing of regret, that I will get her third medicine. Apparently, the patient was disappointed by what I just did. When my colleagues learned this, they also gave me a good reproach. I was aware of my mistake and I was also not unwilling in accepting and rectifying for it. Thankfully, in the remaining part of that patient’s treatment, there were no more similar unfortunate incident that befell and somehow, I was able to redeem myself from her after that fiasco.

I think that it helped me in redeeming myself when an opposite of what happened earlier occurred with the same patient. When this patient is already near to be discharged, I did something that is considerably very beneficial on her part. Looking back at it now, I think that the punishment I received – the suspicion of my colleagues and the sense of doubt I saw from the look of my patient – helped me in improving from what I was doing. I regularly opened the Venetian blinds in the patient’s room especially during the morning when the sun has already risen. This is to nourish the patient’s body by allowing some environmental elements to enter her room. The rays of the sun, however dispersed, and the gentle breeze of the early morning dew helped in improving her condition. My effort in doing this seemingly little thing for her has apparently inspired her and made her gain a more positive outlook even in the face of a threatening disease. From the way she looked and behaved since I started doing that, it was evident that she was reinforced to be more cheerful. She became more eager in taking her medicines. She has also became more talkative that it eventually begun to look and sound so unusual to me. It was as if I was no loner dealing with the same patient or that my patient has just heard the good news that her disease has already been completely healed.

As a whole, these behavioral patterns only go to show the significant differences that can be made if the attitude made prevalent in the medical setting is revamped. If the attitude in hospitals or emergency centers are made more accompanying rather than panicky, encouraging rather than threatening, hopeful instead of doomful, the general setting that is felt there can be greatly improved. Moreover, if the medical personnel and the patients share a mutual positive attitude toward each other, the positive setting can be further reinforced. If the medical staff is very much willing to accept her mistakes and use that as a starting ground in improving her performance, the operation of the hospital can be made better. Ultimately, this will strengthen their credibility in the eyes of the public and can foster a more health-oriented atmosphere on the entire community.

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