Personal Reflection : My Experience Of Personal Experiences In The Public Community

948 Words4 Pages
Look Back I have encountered various situations and gained new experiences within the past seven weeks of placement. An event that stood out the most was the first time I went out in public (i.e., the plaza) with a support worker and a resident, who has an intellectual disability. In this event, I witness how individuals with intellectual disabilities are stigmatized and how they are affected by it. Elaborate In this event, I had to take the resident to a restaurant washroom. As we entered the restaurant, almost every single person in the room turned and looked at us with pity and fear. The individuals’ fears were so evident that they immediately kept a “safe” distance when we stood next to them. I noticed that these actions made my client feel uncomfortable as he became more agitated and made louder noises. Eventually, he grabbed my arm, led the way out of the restaurant, and ignored his need to use the washroom. This event not only affected my resident, but myself as well. I did not just witness an act of stigmatization, but I personally and physically felt it too. During this unpleasant situation, I felt my palms sweat, heart race, and chest tighten up. The way the individuals acted towards us made me feel like I was different, unworthy, and unwelcomed. It was as if I had no right to be in their public space or use its amenities. Also, when they moved away from us, it made me feel like there was something wrong with me, such that I was violent or carried a contagious disease. Furthermore, I felt weak and incompetent because I did not know how to control or deal with the situation. After this encounter, I began to wonder why this vulnerable population is treated differently, how this stigma can impact an individual’s choice, action, and well-being, and what my role is as a nurse to fight the stigma. Analysis According to various articles, the stigma towards individuals with intellectual disabilities stem from the public’s lack of knowledge and negative stereotypes constructed by the media and society (Casados, 2017; Stefánsdóttir & Traustadóttir, 2015; Skinner, 2013). Initially, intellectual disability was seen as an abnormality which needed to be cured by medicine (Stefánsdóttir &

More about Personal Reflection : My Experience Of Personal Experiences In The Public Community

Get Access