Following an adaption of Johns’ model of structured reflection (Jasper, 2003), I will discuss an event that occurred during my residential placement as a nursing student, what I have learnt and how I would act if the situation arose again. Lastly, I will discuss what I have learnt in relation to the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies for cultural safety and communication. Description of the experience:
Phenomenon – describe the here and now experience
I was on my third day of residential care placement; the staff had just started to take turns for their morning tea break so I took the time to catch up on my case study patient’s medical history in the nurses’ station. Within a few minutes the Manager of the rest home ran in to gather the blood pressure machine and bandages. She informed another student nurse and myself to “take these to Max’s (pseudonym) room NOW, while I call an ambulance”. We rushed to Max’s room to find no one visible, we then heard a caregiver comforting Max from inside his shared bathroom. It was then that we informed by the care giver that Max had rushed to the bathroom, avoiding his sensor matt and slipped on his faeces landing on his right side and had injured his hip and head quite severely and was becoming unresponsive. Both shocked on what we had walked in on, me and my colleague stood silently in the door frame. I noticed the care-givers eyes’ start to swell with tears so I put on my gloves and rushed in to help clean up the faeces around him. Following this I then helped to retrieve a pillow for Max’s head and helped ensure the blanket was covering Max to give him privacy and warmth. While we looked after Max until paramedics arrived we tried our best to talk calmly to Max to keep him aware of what was happening and also help keep him calm. Due to Max becoming unresponsive the care-giver and I kept encouraging Max to squeeze the care-giver’s hand in order to help him stay awake. As more staff came to help I stepped back to ensure there was enough room around Max and left to gather my own emotions.
Casual – what essential factors contributed to this experience? As a first year student nurse I had not come across a fresh accident scene and only had my skills in which I had learnt with first aid training to assist me in the situation as well as the directions by the care-giver present with Max. Because of lack of experience I was left unsure on what I should be doing to help. Being aware of the problems contaminants like faeces can cause in open wounds from my biology lectures, I quickly helped to assist cleaning up as much faeces around Max without moving him to ensure not extra damage was caused. St John (2011) states that when “suspected head, neck, or spinal injuries have occurred, try your best not to move the patient until emergency response staff have arrived”. Reflection:
Why did I intervene as I did?
As a student nurse on placement I entered the residential care facility with an open eye and ready to learn. It was important for my education that I learnt as much as possible while I had that opportunity. Knowing that at the time of accident that they were short staffed due to staff members being on break and a care giver phoning in ill prior, I knew that I couldn’t walk away and ignore the situation in fear of not knowing what to do. By reading the facial expressions of the care-giver present with Max, I knew I needed to help in order to give herself a chance to gather her own emotions as well as care for Max safely to ensure he did not lose complete consciousness or become distraught. I also tried to ensure Max was as comfortable as possible following his injury by applying a pillow to his head and a blanket to cover him. This ensured him privacy and comfort which I feel helped to keep him calm and comfortable until emergency medical staff arrived. By...