Not too long ago, I was a nursing student whose very existence revolved around participating in study groups with Mandy and Yolanda, creating mountains of index cards, and conquering new skills in the nursing lab. Although those things are critical in completing any nursing program, at times, I found myself on the brink of an all-out breakdown if I could not master an individual concept or visualize a disease process. So, Jennifer Coleman, Ph.D., RN, CNE, my nursing professor and mentor, instructed me to watch specific films or a TV series that examined diseases. And afterward, I would discuss the disorder the video explored implicitly or explicitly.

Jennifer Coleman, Professor at Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing

Jennifer Coleman, Professor at Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing

Initially, this task proved to be difficult since I would just identify diseases or symptoms that were readily superficial. Frequently, Dr. Coleman pushed me to offer a deeper evaluation and provide supporting evidence. After the 4th assignment, I discovered that watching those films and TV episodes honed my assessment skills. For instance, in clinicals, I would comprehensively evaluate each patient but specifically noting how each symptom may adversely affect multiple organ systems. Without question, this method has shaped my thinking and assessment process.

As a new nurse practitioner, I utilize these skills that I developed in nursing school to diagnose and treat patients. Reflecting back, often, Dr. Coleman affirmed that keywords, phrases, and subtle actions expressed by the actors might be representative of actual patients that I may encounter. Without question, as a clinician, her advice reigns true. So, in the spirit of Dr. Coleman, each week we will explore and discuss a film or TV series that explicitly or implicitly highlight medical disorders. Soon enough, after participating in this exercise, you will see an improvement in your assessment skills. First up, we will screen the documentary entitled What Happened, Miss Simone?

  • Here is the complete documentary for your viewing pleasure! Click on the hyperlink below.
See also
4 Ways to Ace the Exit Interview

What Happened Miss Simone?

Key Questions to Answer

  • What disease(s) is/are explored?
  • What symptoms is she exhibiting?
  • What evidence supports your diagnosis/ diagnoses?
  • Is the patient appropriately treated based on current evidence-based practice?
    • If not, how would you treat this patient?

Thanks for reading this post! Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Ashley Wagner
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