Module Title: The Foundations of Nursing: Care, Compassion and Communication
The purpose of this essay is to reflect upon a recent clinical placement focusing on the development of my own communication skills. For the purpose of reflection the essay will be written in the first person, In accordance with the School of Health and Social Care and NMC (2010) Code of professional conduct, confidentiality shall be maintained and no names will be mentioned to protect identity.
The Purpose of reflection was started by John’s (1995) this was to promote valuable practice though the practitioners understanding and learning about their lived experiences. Bengtsson (1998) suggests that reflection can be understood and used as self reflecting. Self-reflection helps the nurses to learn about the actual practices of the profession and helps them to evaluate their own practice and performance. Maggs and Biley (2000) state that evaluating practice through reflection can bring advantages to the individual. The challenge is to recongnise and use these advantages, together with the knowledge they generate. The UKCC’s reports that Fitness to Practice (1998) reaffirmed support for the idea of reflection declaring that student nurses should be able to demonstrate critical awareness and reflective practice.
I will use a reflective model to discuss how I have achieved this competency. The reflective model I have chosen to use is Gibbs model (Gibbs Cycle of Reflection 1988). This model incorporates the following; descriptions, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and an action plan (Gibbs 1988). The model will be applied to the essay to facilitate critical though, relating to evidence based theory to my reflective skill acknowledging my competence and expanding my personal and professional development.
Gibbs is clear and precise allowing for description, analysis and evaluation of the experience helping the reflector to make sense of experiences and examine their practice. To reflect is not enough, you then have to put into practice the learning and new understanding you have gained therefore allowing the reflective process to inform your practice. Taking action is the key; Gibbs prompts the practitioner to formulate an action plan. This enables the practitioner to look at their practice and see what they would change in the future, how they would develop/improve their practice (Gibbs 1988).
When exploring the literature, there are many models of reflection written about some time ago that remain relevant even today (Benner, 1984; Atkins & Murphy 1993; Johns 1997). Driscoll (2000) is another commonly used model, Discussing the what?, so what and what now approach this model is a series of steps. This is a similar model proposed by Gibbs, with the addition of a seventh step to encourage the professional to plan how to put into action the new learning gained from reflection on a clinical practice experience (Delany, 2000).
The communication skill I have chosen to reflect on within this essay is telephone communication. I have chosen this as within my first clinical placement I had a bad experience taking an important telephone call from pathology.
The first stage of Gibbs (1988) reflective model requires a description of events. A first year student fresh out of university waiting handover at the nurses station, The telephone rings and I was the only one there.
Gibbs (1988) second stage of reflection discusses thoughts and feelings. I was aware I was the only person at the nurses station and felt obliged to answer the phone “I couldn't answer it, I’m a student I don't even work here, I don't no anything, anyone”. I was to afraid to answer the phone so I walked away and let someone else take the call, I was anxious and stressed about this all morning, evaluating the whole situation , why did I not answer? I...
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