A Reflective Essay of an Overseas Nurse

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This is a reflective essay which will address a recent experience gained from the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) that occurred during my placement and while under the Overseas Nurses Programme. This will utilize John’s Model for Structured Reflection (MSR). This essay will also be integrating the first learning outcome of the course.

This incident involves a 48-year old female who came in to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) with chief complaint of shortness of breath, productive cough and pleuritic chest pain. A nose and throat swab for swine flu was done. Swine flu is a “respiratory illness caused by a new strain of influenza virus which has been named pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza by the WHO” (Health Protection Agency (HPA), 2009, p.01). The swab was required by the Trust’s “Practical advice for investigating individuals with possible swine flu infection” (Hospital Policy, 2009, p. 01).

Initially, she was admitted to the regular wards but she deteriorated and was subsequently intubated and hooked to a mechanical ventilator and transferred to the ITU. The patient was then admitted on a regular bed in the ITU, during this time the isolation rooms of the ITU were not available. It was mentioned at the morning rounds by the doctors if she needed to be transferred to an isolation room because of the query of swine flu. The doctors replied that she might only be a severe case of pneumonia as can be seen on the Chest X-ray. They also explained to the patient’s family that she is being treated for pneumonia and is also receiving antibiotics. Staff nurses who come in contact with the patient wore no protective equipment other than regular aprons and clean gloves, including myself and my mentor. Late in the afternoon, the result of the swab was confirmed by the microbiology department as positive for swine flu. WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES WITHIN THIS DESCRIPTION THAT I NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO? Concerns regarding infection control were one of the primary...
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