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1st year reflective essay using Gibbs

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Pure Maiden View Drop Down
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  Quote Pure Maiden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 1st year reflective essay using Gibbs
    Posted: 02 March 2007 at 6:38pm
Apologies for the rudimentary reflection, It was my first one! Some unis are allowed to use sub headings but mine does not.

This assignment is a reflective account of events that arose for a nursing student during their first clinical placement in a community hospital. A brief definition of reflection will be given, with emphasis placed on communication. This reflection has been chosen to highlight the need for nurses to have therapeutic communication skills, to provide holistic care for those diagnosed with dysphasia or speech loss and the scope of learning opportunities it has provided to improve practice in this area.

All names in this text have been changed, to respect the confidentiality of the patient and other healthcare professionals (NMC 2002).

Reflection, in this instance, is a way of analysing past incidents to promote learning and improve safety, in the delivery of health care in practice. The Gibbs reflective cycle has been chosen as a framework for reflection (see appendix 1).

Mr. Comer was admitted to his local community hospital for respite care. He has suffered multiple, acute strokes in the past, which has left him with severe disabilities. These include paralysis rendering him immobile, aphasia (speech loss) and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). He relies on carers for all normal activities required for daily living (Roper et al 1996) and is advised to have a pureed diet and thickened fluids.


My mentor asked me to observe her feeding Mr Comer. She had prepared my learning the week previously by providing literature on the subject of feeding elderly patients and discussion on safe practice for feeding patients with dysphagia.

I was alarmed and unprepared for the physical sight of this patient, who was coughing noisily and laboriously and a thick, green stream of mucus was exuding from his mouth.

I observed Mr. Comer being fed and noticed he was coughing more than normal during his meal, but was informed that this was quite normal for him. I was asked to feed him the next day. When I uncovered Mr Comer’s meal he started to cough in the same manner that I had witnessed before, but this time he evaded all eye contact. I was feeling extremely anxious, but proceeded to load a spoon with his meal. His coughing increased in intensity accompanied by rapid eye blinking, turning his head away from me and throaty groans that I can only describe as distressed vocal growling.

I was terrified at this point and called for assistance, thinking Mr. Comer was having some kind of seizure. I discovered very quickly from another health carer who knew Mr. Comer well, that he was protesting profusely about the pureed dinner I was going to give him which he dislikes immensely. On the previous day, he had received an ordinary meal, mashed to a smooth Consistency, which is what his carers provided for him at home.

This experience left me feeling very uncomfortable and inadequate in my role. I tried to understand why he reacted so alarmingly by putting myself in his position. I felt anger and frustration, but more importantly the feeling of helplessness. Not being able to voice my dislike to the meal offered exacerbated by the urgency of hunger or thirst.

Although this experience was very frightening for me and frustrating for the patient, it has highlighted the need for me to improve my communication skills. NMC (2002) outlines that we must not add extra stress or discomfort to a patient by our actions and we must use our professional skills to identify patient’s “preferences regarding care…and the goals of the therapeutic relationship“.

Severtseen (1990) cited by Duxbury (2000) applies the term ‘therapeutic communication’ as the dialogue between nurse and patient to achieve goals tailored exclusively to the patients needs. In this case dialogue is used by Mr. Comer in the form of body language and noise to communicate his needs because of speech loss.

Nelson-Jones (1990) states that facial expressions are an intrinsic way to express emotions and eye contact is one way to show interest. The avoidance in eye contact displayed by Mr. Comer showed his distinct lack of interest. Compounding these factors was his facial paralysis, which made it especially difficult for me to ascertain the exact nature of his feelings.

The nurse must be the sender and more importantly the receiver of clear information. Patients with speech impairment or loss have a more difficult task sending the messages they want and are sometimes unsuccessful in making themselves understood. (Arnold & Boggs 1995).

It appeared to me that Mr. Comer’s cough was not only a physiological disorder caused by his condition, but a way for him to communicate, in this case, his displeasure. Critical analysis of this experience has pointed to the fact that I have inadequacies in my skills, to identify covert and overt clues provided by Mr. Comer to his needs. I had focussed too much on the presenting task to feed him, with my mind occupied on his safety due to the nature of his swallowing problems. I had not considered his other needs like his wishes or desires and I had not gathered enough personal information about him beforehand to know this (Davis & Fallowfield 1991).

I had been unsure about what to say or do to alleviate Mr. Comer’s apparent anxieties and had adopted what Watson & Wilkinson (2001) describe as the blocking technique. By continuing my actions to carry on with the meal, I was cutting short the patients need to communicate a problem.

I was influenced in this decision because I felt obliged to be seen to reduce his anxieties, knowing my actions would be judged by an audience of other care workers and patients on the ward. I did not respond efficiently to reduce his distress and this pressure led me to deal with the situation inadequately and for that I felt guilty (Nichols 1993).

I should have allowed more time to understand what Mr. Comer was thinking and feeling by putting words to his vocal sounds and actions. I could have shown more empathy in the form of my own body language to promote active listening (Egan 2002) and not worried about other peoples views on my decisions and beliefs to act in a way I felt comfortable with and thought was best for my patient.

Gould (1990) cited by Chauhan & Long (2000) have suggested that “many of the non verbal behaviours we use to reassure patients, such as close proximity, prolonged eye contact, clarification, validation, touch, a calm and soothing voice, the effective use of questions, paraphrasing and reflecting thoughts and feelings and summarising are all sub skills with the totality of empathy”.

There is an abundance of information about communication, especially for nurses because it is considered by many as the core component to all nursing actions and interventions. Lack of effective communication is a problem that still exists because the learning process that leads to a skilled level of ability may take years of experience to develop (Watson and Wilkinson 2001).

It has been quite difficult for me to admit my inadequacies in communication, but Rowe (1999) explains that a person must identify their weaknesses as an initiative for becoming self-aware. Only with acceptance of ones self, can a person begin to acknowledge another persons uniqueness and build upon this to provide holistic care.

I know the knowledge I have gained through reflection of my experience will not always ensure that I will treat patients with unconditional positive regard, simply because of the diversity in the nature of us as individual human beings and the environment surrounding us. I have gained a new perspective on my practice which is to set myself personal goals in facilitating effective communication between the patient and myself, should the situation present itself again.

Edited by Pure Maiden
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bandaid12 View Drop Down
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  Quote bandaid12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2007 at 7:00pm
Pure,
It is so true that we need to improve our communication and recognize subtle ways that our pts. communicate with us. I think we can all relate to what you've submitted!

Thank you for sharing and making us all think about our inadequacies in communication, although I think nurses are ahead of the doctors in this department!
CAS
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  Quote Pure Maiden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2007 at 8:55pm
I agree wholeheartedly bandaid, I wonder if there are any medical students or doctors out there that view this forum and can tell me whether they actually have a learning module on communication and if so is it the same as the emphasis placed on nursing students?

Would be nice to hear from them!
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  Quote welshgirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2007 at 6:16pm
Thanks for posting this essay as well Pure, I am a bit worried my writing style won't be academic enough Although our tutor said that our first year assignments don't count towards the degree
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  Quote Pure Maiden! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2007 at 10:17pm
Don't be worried as my first essay was laughable withing a few weeks of learning and after looking at these first year essays you will be the top of your group!

I never had the privelidge of viewing an assignment and I was not familiar with the internet!!!

Only got my laptop so as I could study hard without taking up hubbys time using his pc, as he spends every evening on the net

There I was thinking my work was crap? but wanted to help others as first years!

Academia comes with the lectures and learning!

Regards Pure!xxx
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  Quote Pure Maiden! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2008 at 9:11pm
had to bring this one back up as I see it is viewed by many!
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  Quote Alx B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 July 2008 at 10:32am
Good essay Pure! :)
I think things are, in general, getting better but there still seem to be a lot of people in healthcare who are so focused on a patient's physical welfare, that they overlook the emotional side.
I believe that empathising with a patient, and their circumstances, is an important skill for anybody woking with the sick.
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  Quote annasmurf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2009 at 2:06pm
Hi sorry to bother you if used couple of your references out of you essay dealing with communication essay on reflective cycle of gibbs gould 1990 cited by chauhan& long 2000 which book or journal did you find them because i found there statments helped with my essay and explained things great! thankyou annasmurf!]
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  Quote MANNING6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 August 2009 at 6:14pm
HI EVERYONE, I AM TRYING TO WRITE A REFLECTIVE ESSAY BASED ON PATIENT ASSESSMENT AND I AM STUCK WHAT TO TALK ABOUT. DO YOU THINK I WOULD BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT A SITUATION I WAS PUT IN WITH A PATIENT AFTER THE ASSESSMENT I MADE ON THEM, OR WOULD YOU THINK IT IS ONLY ABOUT THE ASSESSMENT THAT I MADE? THE LEARNING OUTCOMES ARE:

DEMONSTRATE THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ATTITUDES ASSOCIATED WITH PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL PRACTICE

DEMONSTRATE DEVELOPMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ATTITUDES ASSOCIATED WITH CARE DELIVERY

DEMONSTRATE THE KNOWLEDGE OF SKILLS AND ATTITUDES ASSOCIATED WITH CARE MANAGEMENT

DEMONSTRATE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN PRACTICE.

ANYTHING THAT WILL HELP WOULD BE GREAT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH

P.S SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS LOCK REALISED HALF WAY THROUGH WRITING THIS...IM NOT SHOUTING I PROMISE.
CLAIRE
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  Quote helene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2010 at 11:14am
hello, i am totally new to this site and to reflective writing. your post has been the most helpful one i have come across and I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you. I am sure that you have helped many.    helene
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  Quote jessiebear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2010 at 11:54am
hey guys
i am really in the need of some help....i am doing the degree and need to write a reflective account using the 'what' framework of borton.

i should by darft to my supervisor who told me i need to be more anayltical. yet she did not explain how to go about this and has left the uni and will not be replaced.

Any ideas? the topic is paediatric life support, regarding the life support and effective nurse led working
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  Quote ken e Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2010 at 7:22pm
well done
TRYIN 2 SAVE LIVES..END UP PICKIN UP DRUNKS
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  Quote Clair John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 July 2010 at 11:58am
Good work! Really nice article.

www.dissertationprovider.co.uk
Clair John
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  Quote bmullings Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2010 at 2:03pm
Hi, can you tell me the name of the book used to quote ref. cited by Duxbury(2000) in your reflective essay and cited by Long et al (2000).
thanks B. Clarke-Mull
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