This essay will demonstrate my reflective abilities within an episode of care in which I have been involved with during my practice placement. It will discuss several issues binding nursing practice with issues of ethics and the model of reflection which provided me with a good structure and which I found most appropriate, is Gibbs model (Gibbs 1988). This particular model incorporates - description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and the action plan. I have examined my own values and beliefs to the individual receiving care and have integrated and explored theory related to this in order to discuss and debate these values which underpin professional practice. I have chosen to reflect on my observation of the death of a patient in his early 60’s following intensive CPR and the situation which occurred directly after this. I have highlighted areas of professional practice regarding sensitivity to cultural aspects after death which could be improved. I have omitted names and locations of individuals to comply with the Nursing and Midwifery Council code of conduct (2008), which relates to client confidentiality, so for this purpose, my patient will be called Mohammed.
I had commenced my first day on Adult placement on the ward and received a brief handover. Being privileged to such information I knew was a responsibility and the NMC (2008) standard of Conducts performance and ethics, requires all nurses and healthcare practitioners to recognise their duty of confidentiality owed to the patient. I remember Mohammed, a 62 year old Tunisian man who had been admitted to this surgical ward the previous day from A&E with Haematemeisis. His grasp of the English Language was limited and he was due today to have a simple operation to his stomach area. His emitted volumes of energy and was optimistic and cheerful despite his current condition and pending operation. Mohammed had returned to the UK on a holiday to see his grown up children whom he had not seen for 10 years. This patient, for some reason reminded me of my father with whom I had a close relationship with but who had died unexpectedly a few years earlier with me beside him at his hospital bed. Mohammed seemed so “grateful” for my company, thanking me for taking the time to talk to him before I left his room. An hour or so later, a theatre staff had gone to collect Mohammed for his impending operation and pressed the emergency buzzer. All staff hurried towards his room with me following shortly after. Mohammed was found with no pulse and it was estimated that his pulse could have stopped ten or so minutes previously. Resuscitation commenced with each of the multi disciplinary team participating in CPR. After approximately 20 minutes, everyone agreed to cease CPR due to non response and the Doctor pronounced time of death. The staff left the patients room and immediately the senior nurse asked me to give the deceased “a quick wash”. I responded by saying that I was not emotionally able to do this as this stage as this had brought back memories of my father’s death a few years earlier. The Nurse said, that it was okay and I left the room trying to continue with my other duties. Five minutes later, Mohammed’s son arrived and I was standing with two nurses when one told the other that Mohammed’s son and family had been given a little time to spend with the deceased but that “he had better not be too long as I have bed sheets to change and the room to clear”!. Many hours after the incident, I tried as best as I could to continue with my duties, but felt myself intermittently emotional - as witnessed by the nurse I had been allocated to shadow. I was told to not worry as “these things happen”, however, I found my emotional feelings not subsiding throughout the day and eventually after numerous requests by me to speak to the shift leader, she was able to fit me in. I relayed how the earlier event had affected me...
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