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In this reflective essay, I would demonstrate the self-assessment of the materials that I learnt about in my postgraduate course of public health. The establishment of what I have learnt and how it has helped my professional skills would be displayed along with the application of 5R framework of reflective writing.
The health of the population is a matter of concern for all the governing authorities in any nation. Public health studies help the country to build professionals who will be dedicated to serve the ailing people and reduce the rate of poor health in public (Furler, 2015, p115). While attending the lectures at University, it has come to my knowledge that partnership and coalition are most essential in executing the job duties as health care professionals. In my postgraduate course, we were taught about the core dynamics and functioning of public health, in four semesters. There are four topics which had various use categories to it as well. These are - Introduction to public health, History and Evolution of Public health, Health Disease, Ethics and Determinants and Overview of health systems.
I would like to highlight that I learnt why a health professional needs to adapt to person-centred care and exhibit therapeutic communication with the patients. I was trained, in providing care to ailing patients. I was also trained to think critically so that I could come up with ideas to design health care programs and formulate health policies that would improve the medical system altogether.
My public health experience started with indulging in improving my quantitative research skills. It is through that, I could understand the various terms and topics of course. One of the major reasons for taking this self-assessment is to reflect on the politics that are involved in the formation of health care policies. This hinders the proper implementation of the actual objective for the people as it was intended to be. The topics in my module happen to be interesting and it motivates me to dig deeper in into methodology.
As Bourdieu would state in the theory of his social capital, the dynamics of power in a society is based cultural evidences. His work highlights the fact the cultures plays an essential role in distributing power in a society (Huang, 2019, p45). The social exchanges in the economy pave the way for social stratification as well. Therefore, I feel that the governing authorities sometimes are unable to address the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people of Australia. The symbolic power creates a gap in between them and that is why current renovations are being made to approach the poor health state of Aboriginal people delicately.
At my university, I used to pay more attention to the classes where the term policy was defined in the public health context. It is generally described as any activity of government like decision making or implementing a health program that has scope to add value to the lives of people and deliver a political vision of a country. I feel that one of the major drawbacks of creating policies is its nature. It demands to be complex so that it covers all the loopholes in management (Maltezou & Poland, 2016, p47). If through anyway, policymaking could be simplified, it would be easily communicated to relevant people which will effectively improve awareness as well. The importance of policy shall always be evidence-based, because if it is not, then the rationale of those policies remain ambiguous.
I related the topics taught to me at the university to increase my understanding of the dynamics of policy formation. The political idea of ‘choice’ provided to the people of the community leads them to believe in the awareness programs that ensure their wellbeing extensively.
Behaviour and education about health issues and approaching the relevant matter is essential to exhibit quality services at the real-time workplace. The policy formation and health care programs should be constructed in a way that it influences the individuals to be interested in their wellbeing themselves (Disch, 2020, p6). Policies shall be created in a way that it inflicts encouragement for people to make their engagement more intact. As a postgraduate student, I was able to participate in community-based programs too. The uncertainty I faced there, made me realize that person centres care towards elderly and indigenous people I essential. Their cultural differences demand to address delicately. My life before the postgraduate was normal however, I had to separate from my family and friends to focus here completely.
From the academic perspective, it was rewarding and challenging, the community program specifically reminded me why I was interested in health policies and health behaviour again. I am looking forward to starting my career in the public health field. The health policies of Australia, like Medicare, funding hospitals, PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme), managing aged healthcare workforce, promoting best health care practices, ensuring therapeutic communication with patients and supporting sports in both high and low communities (Health.gov.au, 2020).
According to French sociologist Bourdieu, the power is created in the society through culture sand symbolic presence and it is redefined by an interaction between agency and structure (Huang, 2019, p45). These are defined as norms or habitus that are generally accepted by all, as it has been in regulation for a long time. Habitus is neither free will nor held responsible by any structure.
If I ever am in a situation that I have to decide on making policies, I will keep the benefits of the community in mind and base my rationale on quantitative evidence-based data. I was unaware of many health care topics before this course, but now my perspective has changed on many matters of health care. I have noticed that there is immense interconnectivity in the discipline of public health institutions. Policy formation, development of health programmes and coalition of activities are achieved through coordinated timing.
I believe when I perform my professional practices, I will adopt a therapeutic approach with an understanding of social paradigms to control my behaviour towards patients diligently and delicately.
It can be concluded that reflective writing has led me to an understanding of the topics of public health extensively. My professional skills have significantly improved due to reflecting on my post graduate journey at university. Therefore, my clinical practice will be executed better now, since I understand where my strengths and weaknesses are.
Furler, R. (2015). Public Health Practice in Australia: The Organised Effort, 2nd Edition. Australian Journal Of Primary Health, 21(1), 115. doi: 10.1071/pyv21n1_br1
Health.gov.au (2020). Policy. Retrieved 12 August 2020, from https://www.health.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/policy
Huang, X. (2019). Understanding Bourdieu-Cultural Capital and Habitus. Rev. Eur. Stud., 11, 45.
Maltezou, H., & Poland, G. (2016). Immunization of Health-Care Providers: Necessity and Public Health Policies. Healthcare, 4(3), 47. doi: 10.3390/healthcare4030047
Disch, J. (2020, January). Nursing leadership in policy formation. In Nursing Forum (Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 4-10).
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