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COR III Reflection Paper

Leah Pirman
Edgewood College School of Nursing


For as long as I can remember, I have known what I wanted to do with my

life. I have always had a caring nature and desire to improve the quality of life for
others. It only seemed logical to dedicate my life to caring for others. Therefore, I
have immersed myself in the challenging and rewarding studies to become a nurse.
Choosing Edgewood College of Nursing to explore and enhance my passion of
nursing has been rewarding, as throughout my four years in Madison, I have been
able to explore a variety of fields of nursing through not only classes, but also
community service, and various jobs. This semester in Nursing 461: Community
Health, I had the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to this statement that I
began formulating four years ago. Unlike previous semesters, this semester I was
given the chance to work with individuals living in the community in which I reside,
by volunteering at Saint Vincent DePauls Food Pantry weekly. Individuals that
utilize Saint Vincent DePauls Food Pantry are mainly adults and children of mixed
backgrounds. For our teaching/learning project this semester, my clinical group and
I had the opportunity to educate on increasing and empowering these adults and
children to take an active role in their health, and how food can affect their
livelihood. Many of these individuals come from households of low-socioeconomic
status, with various educational levels and English speaking abilities, and also lower
literacy abilities, which came to surface as barriers for why or why not these
individuals put an effort into making their diet as nutritional as possible. To
overcome this structural violence in our project, we set up a table outside of the
pantry with different healthy food selections made from ingredients these
individuals would be able to get from the pantry with their points, along with a


brochure filled with the recipes, enabling them to recreate these dishes for
themselves and their families. Feedback was great, and not only did I feel like we
made a difference in their lives, but also my own, as nutrition is definitely a deficit in
my own life. This project brought to light that small changes in the community like
this simple teaching/learning project, can make big changes on a larger scale, in the
lives of individuals, enabling them in such a simple way to be the best they can be,
no matter their background.
The Preamble to International Code of Ethics for Nurses states, Nurses have
four fundamental responsibilities to promote health, to prevent illness, to restore
health and to alleviate suffering. My experience at Saint Vincent DePauls Food
Pantry, and many others that I have encountered throughout my years at Edgewood,
have played a large role in not only affirming my future career, but more
importantly shaping me as a the person I strive to be in helping others. The
Dominican values of Edgewood have truly been embedded into my own personal
philosophy of nursing throughout these past four years, in which I am forever
grateful. I believe these values, which consist of truth, justice, compassion,
partnership, and community, are apparent, and will continue to be apparent in the
future when delivering nursing care to each and every patient. Volunteering at Saint
Vincent DePaul has really opened my eyes to the good in the community,
particularly when observing the other volunteers that choose to dedicate their own
time weekly. When I am older, perhaps retired with spare time, I hope to dedicate
my time to organizations like Saint Vincent DePauls, where I am playing a role in
bettering not only the community, but also myself.