Clinical placement involves exercising of theoretical nursing practices on the actual field. Nursing students are given a platform to practice the nursing theories and observe the treatments and procedures that should be followed. In a health facility taking care of the aged population, various treatments are available to either physically, emotionally, and mentally cater for the patients. Students in the nursing practice act as apprentices observing the qualified nursing practitioners and learning how to put the knowledge into practice. After the clinical placement exercise, students can later substitute the expert knowledge gained when facing similar medical situations. The interaction between students with the medical practitioners in aged care homes sharpens the skills of both parties as they both increase the experience gained in the medical field. Generally, clinical placement practices have the following purposes: the goal of learning to a higher notch, engagement and practicing to work as a team, attaining the experience to substitute knowledge into practice, and preparing students for the actual field.
During my clinical placement, I was assigned to the mental ward where most patients had mental disorders. Some of the patients had bipolar disorders, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Reflection of the situations in my nursing practice would help me engage in similar cases in future. Evaluation, assumptions, observations, and feeling are part of the reflection process. According to Gibbs (1998), he designs a reflective cycle that describes the situation, evaluates the developed feelings in the event, evaluates the case, analyzes the attained knowledge, provides a conclusion, and creates an action plan that would help other nurses that would experience the same condition. Below is a detailed description of the Gibbs Reflection Cycle on an incidence I encountered while working under clinical placement.
In this segment, working as a nursing practice student, I was expected to provide a full description of the situation I was involved. An elderly patient was admitted with a case of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The patient's older brother informed the nursing team that the ailing person was a 78-year-old male. At this point, I learned that the patient's situation and a brief description is provided before admission for treatment. According to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC, 2012), the patient's information should be confidential. It was therefore against several healthcare policies to disclose the patient's information to the public. The patient was admitted in a state of anxiety and was not in a stable condition to describe what he was feeling. His kin informed the nursing team that the patient tried to stab himself immediately after his moods shifted drastically. I was involved in the team that administered risperidone that helped the patient reduce his outburst behavior (Horrigan & Barnhill, 1997). I was later left in charge of observing the patient's progress. I was indulged in creating a friendly communication with the patient so that he would be open to relay his current feelings.
This is the second section whereby I was supposed to reflect on the feelings towards the situation (Andrews et al., 2006). As the patient was admitted, I was utterly anxious to handle such a case. With a list of recommendations from qualified nurses on how to treat the patient, I administered appropriate therapies on the patient. Later as I conversed with the patient when he was calm, I was able to provide treatment without anxiety. I felt that my expertise in the field was helpful since the patient later showed symptoms of mental improvement.
In the evaluation stage, I was tasked with the role of reflecting on the positive and negative effects of the situation (Forrest, 2008). These effects have to be evaluated before and after the incidence took place. When the patient came in, the admission process took excess time. This is one of the negative factors I experienced. Another negative impact was that the patient, before the situation had not been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The other adverse effect was that in the first procedures of the treatment, I was anxious as I could not handle the patient's outburst behavior. The positivity of the incidence was that the patient got medical treatment that stabilized his condition. Another positive effect was that I was able to control my anxious feelings and I managed the situation as I treated and conversed with the patient.
In this section, I ought to assess the whole situation and provide consequences and procedures that controlled the situation (Quinn, 1998). The patient acted in an outburst behavior longer since the admission process was sluggish. The patient was late for admission since he had not been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder earlier. The effectiveness of the qualified nursing team stabilized the patient's condition. After observing the nursing practitioners, I was done with anxiety and was able to treat the patient further.
When the patient came in, I should not have panicked about handling the situation. I watched the qualified nursing team administer treatment to the ASD patient. I should have composed myself and practice the knowledge I attained in my nursing profession. The patient's outburst behavior made me anxious about providing treatment. I learned that with the complete composure of the incidence, I could administer proper therapy to such a situation. I discovered that I was educationally equipped with the required knowledge on providing treatment for mentally challenged patients.
For such complex situations, I should be ready to expect such behavior to avoid anxiety in the treatment process (Finlay, 2008). Since the next similar situation would not be the first, my current situation should be a proper example of how to handle future cases. Though treatment process was a success, I should improve on the courage of exercising my knowledge fast to avoid further self-infliction of pain on the patients. The admission process should be done as communication therapies are administered to the patient. I should be zealous in conducting similar treatments on patients to attain adequate experience in this chronic care field.
In summary, the Gibbs' reflective system was a proper cycle to reflect on the different steps in the care of ASD as a chronic condition. The cycle helped me identify my weakness, which was a little anxiety during critical situations. The same steps also helped me identify my strengths, the proper communication skills of involving patients and the fast adaptation to handling complex situations. Gibbs' model was reasonably easy to use in the evaluation of the reflection of chronic care. The assessment of the steps demonstrated a fair reaction to a complicated situation that required fast response.
Andrews, G. J., Brodie, D. A., Andrews, J. P., Hillan, E., Thomas, B. G., Wong, J., & Rixon, L. (2006). Professional roles and communications in clinical placements: a qualitative study of nursing students' perceptions and some models for practice. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 43(7), 861-874.
Forrest, M. E. (2008). On becoming a critically reflective practitioner. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 25(3), 229-232.
Finlay, L. (2008). Reflecting on reflective practice. PBPL paper, 52, 1-27.
Gibbs, G. (1988). The reflective cycle. Kitchen S (1999) An appraisal of methods of reflection and clinical supervision. Br J Theatre Nurs, 9(7), 313-7.
Horrigan, J. P., & Barnhill, L. J. (1997). Risperidone and explosive aggressive autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 27(3), 313-323.
Nursing, A., & Council, M. (2009). Standards and Criteria for the Accreditation of Nursing and Midwifery Courses leading to Registration, Enrolment, Endorsement, and Authorisationin Australia-with Evidence Guide. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, Canberra.
Quinn, F. M. (1998). Reflection and reflective practice. Continuing professional development in nursing: A guide for practitioners and educators, 121-145.
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