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Student Name: Dave Jay S. Manriquez Date: April 25, 2016
Class No: 201509
JOURNAL (WEEK 3)
Observation/Objective Data: With my three weeks stay here in Station Street, I observed that
they have this mobile needle exchange program. Every week someone working from the program
visit Station Street bringing boxes of supplies such as clean needles, tourniquet, normal saline,
gauze, and condoms. They are stacking these supplies in a big shelve to make sure that they have
enough supplies for the use of the residents. I noticed that this personnel from the mobile needle
exchange talk as well to the residents. I heard from the LPN that I am shadowing that they are also
giving advice and teaching residents on how to do self-injection properly. I read the poster that
they have posted inside the clinic where it said the mobile needle exchange provide advocacy,
support, and advice to promote safer drug use around Vancouver and on that statement alone it
already gives me an idea what is really the purpose of having the program. I noticed as well that
when resident ask for supplies, sometimes they gave a whole boxes of needles, and etc.
Reaction/Reflection: My immediate reaction was been amaze that PHS has this advocacy for all
the people in the community as well to their own residents living in the low income housing. I am
all praises with this great amount of concern to the health of Canadians in BC residing in lower
mainland. In the back of my mind I said “Wow! Wish we have this one as well in the Philippines”.
I am actually envy because from the country where I came from we don’t have all of this luxury
that the people are receiving here. It is a great program to share knowledge and protect vulnerable
individuals in our society from any diseases associated with blood. Observing everything I see in
the clinic makes me more curious of knowing more about the mobile needle exchange. This led
me to asked questions to the LPN that I am shadowing.
Interpretations/Internal Analysis: After reflecting on what I observed and explored my feelings
more deeply, I learn that the PHS mobile needle exchange have an important role in our community
as they bring awareness, promote harm reduction and safety to people on street as well as their
own residents in their low income shelters. I decided to learn more about PHS mobile needle
exchange and I found some great information about the program from the internet. “PHS Mobile
Needle Exchange started in May of 2011, which aims to reduce the spread of HIV, HCV, and other
illnesses by bringing harm reduction materials to people. The mobile needle exchange provide
advocacy, support, and advice to promote safer drug use. It also function by retrieving used
needles, distributing clean needles, distributing condoms, doing interaction with individuals, and
lastly provide thousands of referrals to health care, detox, treatments, and other services. Within
the community they function by picking up used needles, emptying the city needle boxes,
collecting discarded needles, promote safer drug-use habits, and delivery of harm reduction
materials” (www.phs.ca). Learning all of this makes me believe that the program really helps in
promoting harm reduction and health. We can’t stop individuals in using drugs but at least we can
keep them safe by educating and giving them clean supplies. I got the opportunity to talk to the
LPN that I am shadowing during lunch break and asked her why they are giving whole boxes of
clean needles and other stuff to a resident. She answered, so that they will have enough supplies
and they will not keep on asking because it is also a hassle for them if the resident keep on doing
that and there are times the staff get busy with some other things. She also explained that even
thou a resident have lot of supplies they can’t even sell them because everyone knows that they
can just get it for free. After thinking about it more deeply, I think the program need to receive
more funding from the government or any private sector because the intention of the program is
really for a great cause.
Decisions/Determination: After reflecting and doing a research in the internet it make me realize
how important it is that someone, a group, and an association to show some concern in relation to
health within the community. “What affect one person, affect all of us”. As a future nurse what I
can do is to share awareness to my patients/clients that we have great programs within our
community that heartily provide their services to alleviate health issues. The PHS mobile needle
exchange is a great program. I am hands up with their advocacy to help, provide support, and
offering guidance. What I can do as a student nurse is to encourage the residents to utilize the
program. It is my role to bring optimal wellness to my patient thru awareness. I am going to
promote the program to the residents and keep an eye on it with my remaining days in the agency.