Critically reflect on an encounter with a service user in a health care setting
This essay aims to critically reflect on an encounter with a service user in a health care setting. Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle will be used as this is a popular model of reflection. Reflection is associated with learning from experience. It is viewed as an important approach for professionals who embrace lifelong learning (Jasper, 2013). In general terms, reflective practice is the process of learning through and from an experience or activity to gain new understandings of self and practice. this method is viewed as a way of promoting the personal and professional development of qualified and independent professionals.
Eventually stimulating both personal and professional growth. Dating back to 1988, Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle encompasses six stages of reflection which enable the reflector to think through all the phases of an activity or experience. The model is unique because it includes knowledge, actions, emotions and suggests that experiences are repeated, which is different from Kolb’s reflective model and thus, the model is wider and has a more flexible approach in examining a situation in a critical light to enable future changes.
The incident I will be reflecting on occurred whilst I was placed on the oncology ward during my first year of qualified nursing. We had an elderly service user on the ward. who had been admitted due to stomach cancer. Upon his arrival. we read his notes which highlighted that he had significant learning difficulties, meaning that he also had problems with verbal communication. The main areas of reflection are how both myself and the other nurse’s used communication to calm the patient and show compassion, as well as how we adapted our care to address their individual needs.
A nurse came onto the ward with three members of the public, who were viewing the ward as part of a job advertising process. When the nurse entered the patient’s bay. she informed the members of the public that the service users in that bay were currently receiving radiotherapy treatment. Upon hearing the nurse’s words, the service user became overtly distressed and began crying, shrieking, and hitting his head back against his pillow -it took time; however, another nurse managed to calm him down by talking in a soothing manner.
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Prior to the incident occurring, I was mindful that the nurse was showing the three members of the public around the oncology ward, as part of a job advertising process. At the time of the incident, I had only been working on the oncology ward for six months so still felt slightly unsure of my position within the team. Ultimately, I did not feel confident or experienced enough to deal with this situation independently.
I think that my increased level of anxiety meant that I struggled to intervene, however, it is still clear that both my colleagues and myself should have intervened more quickly to ensure that the patient was dealt with effectively Moreover. I was very surprised when the nurse failed to take into consideration the individual needs of the service user during the visit of the ward, as the distress caused to both the service user and the members of the public was very unnecessary.
In hindsight, the experience had both good and bad elements which have led to an increased understanding of the service user experience and my role as a nurse practitioner within the oncology team. My role was to give physical examinations and evaluate the service user’s health, prescribe and administer medication, recommend diagnostic and laboratory tests/read the results, manage treatment side effects, and provide support to patients — this includes acting m their best interests.
I feel that I did not fulfill the latter responsibility completely. This duty to protect service users’ full confidentiality and ensure that the nurse who was showing the members of the public around the ward was aware of the service users’ communication difficulties and resulting anxiety was not fulfilled. Our failure to act as a team, by sharing information and stepping in before a situation escalated, shows that there was a low level of group cohesiveness.
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