Critical Incident

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Critical Incident
A Reflective Essay

Rich & Parker 2001 defines critical incidents as snapshots of something that happens to a patient, their family or healthcare professional. It may be something positive, or it could be a situation where someone has suffered in some way. Reflecting on critical incidents will allow me to explore and analyse incidents and how it has affects me and what I hope to do with these effects in the course of my training towards becoming a registered practitioner. It also gives me the opportunity of changing my way of thinking or practice, as I learn valuable lessons when I reflect on an incident. This helps me to develop self-awareness and skills in critical thinking and problem solving (Rich & Parker 2001). On the other hand, Johns 2003 defines reflection as “ being mindful of self, either within or after an experience, as if a window through which the practioners can view and focus self within the context of a particular experience, in order to confront, understand and move towards resolving contradiction between one’s vision and actual practice”. I will be using the Beckwith model of reflection which states clearly that reflection is a tool to deal with challenges that will influence the speed and amplitude of one’s development, to explore these effects in other to understand and learn from this incident, with the hope of improving my practice (Beckwith & Beckwith 2007). The incident I will be reflecting upon occurred while attending a clinical placement in the critical care unit at my placement hospital which for the purpose of this essay will be referred to as X Hospital. Critical Care is the multi-professional healthcare specialty that cares for patients with acute, life-threatening illness or injury, (Sheppard & Wright 2005). Critical care can be provided wherever life is threatened. Critical care provided at the scene of an accident or in an ambulance is basic life support. Basic life support is the emergency treatment of any condition where the brain stops receiving adequate oxygen; it could be a cardiac or respiratory arrest, (Kumar). A cardiac arrest is one where there is no pulse and is unlikely the patient will recover with basic life support alone but advanced life support with a defibrillator is required. It is important to carry out basis life support until defibrillator arrives even after careful assessment one discovers it’s a cardiac arrest, as one usually leads to the other, (Kumar). The importance of recognizing, assessing and reacting to cardiorespiratory arrest is very important. Immediate response increases the chances of a successful outcome, (Davey and Ince). Shostek says critical care in a hospital setting is provided by multi-professional teams of highly experienced and professional personnel who use their unique expertise and ability to interpret important therapeutic information, manage highly sophisticated equipment and provide care that leads to the best outcome for the patient. Patients are usually admitted from the emergency room or surgical area where they are first given care and stabilized to CCU, (NHS Careers). The management of the critically ill patient ranges from eye care(Appendix 1), oral care(Appendix 2), infection control, health and safety issues, tissue viability among other vital issues like care bundles for this high risk group of patients who are dependent these care to maintain integrity and dignity according to trust policy. Suction pumps are also vital in the critical care setting as airway hygiene is impaired in critically ill patients as a result of depressed cough reflex and ineffective mucociliary clearance from sedation, high inspired oxygen concentrations, elevated endotracheal tube cuff pressure, and tracheal mucosal inflammation and damage, (X Hospital Policy). Due to this, care of intubated patients includes tracheal suctioning to facilitate the removal of airway secretions (suction therapy) is carried out on all unconscious...
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