Reflection on Workbased Learning

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Within the context of this essay I will focus on a clinical skill in which I have achieved and demonstrated competency in practice. I will utilize the Gibbs [1988] six stage reflective cycle in order to reflect on my personal experience from the work based learning module. I will examine my thoughts, feelings and evaluate and analyse the rationale of why I have developed my particular clinical skill and the benefits of this to the patient, service and role development. Reflection is characterized as learning through experience towards gaining new insights or changed perceptions of self and practice [Boud et al, 1985, Boyd and Fales, 1983, Schon, 1987.] Burns and Bulman [2000,] Redmond [2004] and Bulman and Schutz [2004] believe that reflection as a tool is of the upmost importance and the advantages gained, can give deeper insight into the professional development of a practitioner. Furthermore, reflection is embedded in the dimensions of the Knowledge and Skills Framework [Department of Health, 2004] and is seen as a pivotal part of nursing as a professional activity [Jarvis, 1991.] The gaining of new knowledge and skills is vital to healthcare professionals as well as making the difference to the type of healthcare they deliver [Hinchliff et al, 2003.] However, Hogston and Simpson [2002] emphasise that each situation reflected on must be treated as a unique event if the maximum learning is to be gained. In order to start the process of reflection Gibbs [1988] suggests I should begin by describing the event. I was introduced to the underpinning knowledge during the male and female catheterisation course at the clinical skills laboratory. Catheterisation is the term used to describe a procedure involved for the purpose of draining urine from the bladder [Pomfret, 2003.] I had done some background reading prior to the course to enable a better understanding in good clinical practice and to help me with the ability in linking theory to practice. Farley and Hendry [1997] suggest that a skill should bring together both theory and practice and that it is important to understand the rationale that underpinned the action. Benner, [2001] acknowledges this and states that the competent practitioner integrates theoretical knowledge with clinical experience in the care of patients and families. The purpose of this clinical skill is to improve the patient’s quality of life by ensuring that they are free from having to rely on the use of bulky incontinence pads, indwelling catheters and drainage bags [Webb et al, 1990; Bakke and Malt 1993; Hunt et al, 1996; Bakke et al, 1997.] Therefore, increasing patient satisfaction and enabling greater freedom to express sexuality [Robinson, 2007.] In addition, the World Health Organisation [2002] states that this can be paramount to an individual’s well being, quality of life, and will make a difference to their activities of daily living. Urinary tract complications are minimized and normal bladder function can be maintained [Naish, 2003; Doherty, 2000, and Getliffe, 2003.] I had the opportunity to observe and practice the clinical skill intermittent catheterisation at my area of practice which was a planned prior arrangement between the ward sister, my mentor and me. The purpose of planned clinical experiences for nursing students, according to Jackson and Mannix [2001, pg 270,] are primarily to provide students with the opportunity to develop their clinical skills, integrate theory and practice and assist their socialization into nursing. Working on a young disabled unit, patients that are admitted for respite care can experience problems and may need assistance with intermittent catheterisation. The National Service Framework for Long Term Conditions [2005, standard 11] states that “all people with long term neurological conditions are to have their specific neurological needs met when they are receiving care for any other reason in a health and social care setting “[Department...
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