This assignment will look into firstly what can be defined as a critical incident in the eyes of the modern health care system. Then discussion into such a critical incident experienced by a student nurse in an accident and emergency department. Looking into the importance of infection control in line with the incident and ethical issues regarding patient consent and refusal of treatment and finally the legal issues behind consent.
The are numerous definitions as to what a critical incident is:
"Any situation that results in an overwhelming sense of vulnerability or loss of control." (Solomon),
"Any situation faced by emergency service personnel that causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions which have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at the scene or later." (Mitchell).
"...a factual incident, which may be defined as an observable and integral episode of human behaviour. The word "critical" means that the word incident must have a discernible impact on some outcome; it must make either a positive or negative contribution to the accomplishment of some activity of interest" (Pollit & Hungler 1995)
Many situations can be critical incidents. What may be a critical incident for one person may not be for another. It depends on the perception of vulnerability, control over the situation, and the personal meaning of the incident. This does not mean that they are acute or major incidents or experiences, but that they stand out as being memorable and therefore having some potential for learning. Critical incidents are sudden and unexpected often disrupt your sense of control may involve the perception of life injuring threat involve you physically and or emotionally.
It is a common misconception for student nurses to think, "...it doesn't bother the other nurses, so it shouldn't bother me. If it does bother me, it means that I am weak and not cut out to be a...