Reflective essay

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Clinical placement is a good chance for nursing students to practice clinical skills, as well as experience the real working environment. However, the process of actually bringing theories and knowledge learned from university into practical application is not simple; this requires not only patience and determination but also various learning skills. For myself, after an unpleasant experience of involving an argument between a nurse and patient’s family, I came to realize that reflective skills are crucial not only for my current status as student but also for my future professional development (Sharon, 2014) as registered nurse. The reflective practice helps nurses to maintain and constantly update their knowledge, as well as construct clinical skills by learning from real practice (ANMC 2009). As described by O’Donovan, reflective is “a process of deliberative thinking, looking back, examining oneself and one’s practice in order to improve future practice” (Chris & Sue, 2013, p.4). In this essay I will reflect on my unpleasant experience and demonstrate how this could be used as an evidence to prove how reflective activities effectively assist nurses with professional development. This reflection will follow Gibbs reflective model, which describes the experience, my personal feelings; then analyze and evaluate on my actions, indicate what were my strengths and weakness. Finally, a detailed action plan will be formed for future practice.

In the textbook “Reflective Practice in Nursing” it is recommended that each reflector should choose and use reflective technique that suits their learning style (Chris & Sue, 2013). I chose Gibb’s reflection model as it was the most suitable technique for both my learning style and my pattern of thinking. As a visual learner, I learn best with visualization and mind mapping. My thoughts and actions are easily affected by my feelings. Derived from the principle of experiential learning of Kolk, Gibb’s model of reflection (1988) includes six steps: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan. The first step enables my thought to flow, allowing me to picture the whole experience while putting aside my own judgment. By doing this I can review the situation with a clear non-biased mind. The second step helps me to explore my pattern of thinking and how my emotions effect my actions. These two steps will supply me with comprehensive subjective information for the following steps of the model. For this reason I decided to use the Gibb’s model to reflect on my following situation.

The situation happened when I was doing my placement at the pulmonary rehabilitation ward in a hospital. Mr X was admitted to hospital about few days ago with exacerbation Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD). As per my normal routine I was taking the patient’s vital signs. When I came to Mr. X bed, I saw Mr. X was siting straight up on his bed; his wife was feeding him. The BiPap machine was taken off, and he was on normal nasal cannula. I asked Mrs. X what happened and why he stopped using the BiPAP machine, due to the fact that Mr. X oxygen saturation was a bit low so he would be on BiPAP machine for today, which I heard during the handover activity meeting this morning, Mrs. X told me that it was because Mr. X was very hungry, and the Bipap’s machine mask is too large, covering both his nose and mouth, which prevent him from eating. So she took the BiPap mask out and put the normal nasal cannula on in order to feed him. She said she would put the BiPap machine back immediately after the breakfast, and it would not be long. I was convinced by her words and confident. Then I started taking Mr. X’s vital signs. The result was 90% for his oxygen saturation, lower than the standard one. I checked his medical record and found out that he has modified oxygen saturation rate, and his current one was still in the safe range. I observed Mr. X appearance, asked him a few...
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