Reflective Essay: Dignity and Respect

Topics: Nursing Pages: 7 (2400 words) Published: March 27, 2012
Reflective essay: Dignity and respect10053603


The Purpose of this essay is to reflect upon an experience which relates to the chosen topic of dignity and respect, this was highlighted in my self-assessment (please see appendix) Acknowledging a persons’ dignity can contribute to their sense of good health, well-being and independence. Dignity is an essential element of high quality care and involves aspects such as respect, privacy, autonomy and self-worth (The Welsh Assembly, 2007)
I have decided to use the Gibbs (1998) Reflective cycle for this essay, this framework guides you through a cycle of questions in order to provide guidance and structure when reflecting on an event or situation. The Gibbs cycle encourages a clear description of the event, the analysis of feelings, the evaluation of the experience and analysis to make sense of the experience in order to examine what you would do if the situation arose again (NHS, 2006) Reflection is particularly important as practitioners are responsible for their own practice and they must ensure through self-analysis that their practice is current and appropriate. The process of reflection allows actions to be examined in a systematic manner enabling non effective and effective behaviours to be identified. (Ely and Scott, 2007)

Gibbs (1998) states that: “It is not sufficient simply to have an experience in order to learn. Without reflecting upon this experience it may quickly be forgotten, or its learning potential lost. It is from the feelings and thoughts emerging from this reflection that generalisations or concepts can be generated. And it is generalisations that allow new situations to be tackled effectively” (1988, p. 9)

Description of the event

The particular incident I have chosen to reflect upon occurred during the second day of my first placement. In accordance with the NMC (2008) Professional Code of Conduct, the confidentiality of patient information must be respected. Therefore the names of those involved have been changed to protect their identity. The incident occurred during the first couple of hours of a busy morning shift and involved an elderly patient who I will refer to as Mrs Clarke. During handover it was stated that Mrs Clarke could transfer from the bed to chair with the assistance of one other and also that she had been slightly confused. The nursing auxiliary (who I will refer to as Catherine) and I went to assist Mrs Clarke. Catherine asked Mrs Clarke if she would like to transfer to the chair as this would be easier for her to wash and would enable us to change the sheets and freshen up her bed. Mrs Clarke stated that she didn’t want to try as she felt unable to move with assistance and was concerned she would fall. Catherine checked Mrs Clarkes’ notes and clarified that she had been mobile the previous day. Catherine then insisted that it would be possible and urged Mrs Clarke to move to the edge of the bed. Mrs Clarke was initially adamant that she was unable to stand, however, after some persuading Mrs Clarke had managed to reluctantly mobilise with assistance to a sitting upright position on the bed, her legs were over the side in preparation to stand. It was at this point that Catherine leant across the patient and mouthed the words to me “Dying Swan”. Catherine then urged Mrs Clarke to shuffle forward in preparation to stand. She informed her that we would assist and support her to stand. However, upon standing Mrs Clarke slumped to the floor as her legs were unable to take her weight and she became very distressed. I comforted Mrs Clarke and reassured her, although I was not prepared to manually lift and risk further risk to the patient and myself. Catherine called for assistance and in response another Nursing Auxiliary and a staff nurse came to the bed side. After a brief discussion regarding what action should be taken the three members of staff manually lifted Mrs Clarke from the floor onto the...
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