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Trami Nguyen

NUR 4144
Servant Leadership Summative Reflection

At Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, service learning is emphasized throughout
the program. When I first began the BSMCON program, I did not know what servant leadership
and service learning really meant. At the time, it seemed pretty self explanatory. Because I did
not truly understand service learning, I did not have many expectations. I thought service
learning simply meant learning through helping others. This expectation was met because that is
what service learning is; however, through my experiences at BSMCON, I have realized that
service learning and servant leadership encompasses so much more. After three years of nursing
school, I have been able to participate in multiple service learning experiences in Richmond.
There are many strengths and weaknesses in the Richmond area depending on where you live.
Some strengths of the community are access to healthcare, opportunities for work and
entertainment, and diversity. Some problems of this area in comparison to rural areas include a
larger population, more crime and pollution, and again, diversity. Diversity is both a strength and
weakness in the community because while there are benefits of having people of various
cultures, ages, and socioeconomic status, this is a challenge when trying to educate or reach out
to a large number of people. A solution to these problems in the community is utilizing the large
population towards benefiting the community as a whole. For example, because there are so
many people in Richmond, there are many volunteers in the area. Volunteer work is constantly
being done in healthcare facilities, at food banks, and out in public. A solution for the potential
issues regarding diversity in the area is education on cultural awareness and acceptance. From
firsthand experience, I know that BSMCON provides excellent education to their students on
providing culturally competent care. Before nursing school, when I thought of “needy”
communities, I would think about third world countries with horrible living conditions, limited
clean water, and little to no access to healthcare. Being in nursing school has really helped me

Trami Nguyen

NUR 4144
Servant Leadership Summative Reflection

recognize that “needy” communities are everywhere, including our own backyards. I have been
fortunate enough to serve some of these less fortunate communities as a servant leader.
I have learned that the Richmond community has many needs, but education is definitely
the greatest need. This area lacks overall education about health and even the resources that are
available to accommodate for these health needs. There is also a need for safety awareness,
especially in children and their families. I have found that the service-learning activities have
been relevant to the community and to my learning experience. I have had the opportunity to
work with young and old populations and people of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic
backgrounds. Through my service learning experiences, I have gained skills and knowledge that
have both benefited my community and have facilitated my growth as a future registered nurse.
My service learning experiences through Bon Secours have absolutely influenced my
perception on my call to serve. I have always enjoyed helping others, but the service learning
activities have reinforced that passion. More importantly, the experiences have made me
recognize that I need to do more. I need to look beyond only serving patients in the hospital and
strive to serve my community, especially the ones who need it most. As I mentioned earlier, my
concept of service learning in the beginning of nursing school was very limited. I was not
necessarily wrong in thinking that service learning meant learning and serving simultaneously;
however, now I understand that service learning is about devoting my whole self including my
hands, heart, head, and habits, for the benefit and promotion of others. All of my previous
experiences of service-learning have prepared me to be a servant leader. For example, my first
service learning activity in NUR1100 was volunteering at the Northside YMCA. I was able to
apply the servant leadership principle of listening. Because I was working with young children, I
knew that they needed a lot of attention and just liked to be heard. Another experience I had was

Trami Nguyen

NUR 4144
Servant Leadership Summative Reflection

playing bingo with the residents at Sitter and Barfoot Veterans Center in NUR3113. During this
experience, I applied the servant leadership principle of empathy. I took time to listen to the
resident’s stories and tried to understand how they felt living in the facility. Some of the residents
shared that they felt feelings of sadness and loneliness because they were away from their loved
ones. It was really satisfying to know that I could help with that loneliness, even if it was for just
a few hours. My most recent service learning experience was conducting a hand washing lesson
at St. Mary’s Family Center to young children for NUR 4144. In this experience, I applied the
principles of persuasion and commitment to the growth of people. I was able to empower the
young children to properly wash their hands to prevent the spread of illnesses.
Civic engagement is related to service learning and servant leadership. Civic engagement
is the promotion of community participation in public issues to facilitate changes in that
community. This could mean joining groups or committees to improve safety in children,
homelessness and poverty, or a number of other public issues. After graduating, I plan on
staying engaged with the local community and participating in civic engagement. Because I will
be working at St. Francis Medical Center as a mother infant registered nurse, I will be directly
contributing to mothers and families through the profession of nursing. To reach out to those
outside of the hospital, I also plan on participating in community meetings or groups related to
issues that I am passionate about, specifically health-related issues. Because I will be a future
MIU nurse, of course I am most concerned with helping educate women on positive health
promotion habits. I may even be inspired to create my own civic committee one day.