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Reflection 7 Essay

1594 words - 7 pages

This essay aims to reflect upon an aspect of my professional practice I experienced as

a student nurse during my placement on an in-patient ward for children and

adolescents with complex mental health needs. The purpose of reflection as stated by

Jasper (2003) is to enable us to learn from our experiences by looking back at what

we have done, making sense and learning from them so as to improve our practice. I

will explore this incident and give my understanding of the event in relation to using

appropriate communication and interpersonal skills. In order to present a well-

structured reflection, I have chosen to use a framework of reflection by Gibbs (1998)

which ...view middle of the document...

I was so irritated that my interactions with Steve

were minimal, I only spoke when spoken to with one word answers, yes or no.

The atmosphere was tense and I kept telling myself that I will never work with him

again, I thought I should go through the duty rota and change my shifts in order to

avoid working with him. When Steve took the patient to school I hurriedly went to

the office to speak to my mentor and colleagues about the incident in Steve’s absence

as I struggled with my emotions.

My evaluation of this incident was the lack of communication between Steve and me

because we both demonstrated poor communication skills yet Peate (2006) explains

that effective communication is central to the effective delivery of health care. Steve

had an authoritative approach and wanted to be seen as the one with the knowledge

and experience hence being dismissive and inconsiderate of my opinions and feelings.

Whilst I think that it could be true to a certain extent, Steve should have considered

my opinion instead of treating me as an object. This is clear in the relevant literature

as Payne (2000) explains that team work involves good communication when

making decisions as each person’s individual qualities and opinions are important and

that in order for a team to work well it should not work as a hierarchical group. I feel

that this probably made me feel like an object and thought I was not listened to

because I am a student as Steve thought I had no experience or knowledge of what I

was doing.

The good thing about this incidence is that it highlighted an area requiring further

attention on my part as I became aware that I have passed my placements with good

comments about my communication skills only to realise that I have been wary of my

interactions with patients but not so with my colleagues. Bulman and Burns (2000)

state that to be self aware is to know yourself as this is the foundation upon which

reflective practice is built. It become clear to me that I communicate and present

myself different to patients, as Burnard (2002) explains that we tend to change

aspects of our presentation of self according to the people we are with.

The situation was made worse by both my own actions and those of Steve, because

we both failed to communicate effectively. According to Parker (2003)

communication involves the exchange of ideas and information between two or

more people, it is more than just saying the words which we did not manage to do as

we carried out the task. If we had considered listening, encouraging and respected

each other we might have avoided this unpleasant experience and shared ideas about

the manual handling equipment. If we had planned and communicated well as

described by Peate (2006) that the nursing process is about promoting

collaboration, this is when team members have an organised approach,


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