Critical Reflection of Nursing Assignment

 

Write critical reflection becoming a professional of nursing.


Descriptive & Professional Account 

I am presently associated in an Orthopaedic Surgical Ward which specializes in hip and total knee joints replacement procedures. I work as a nursing help here, as a part of my Professional Experience Placement (PEP). I encountered a situation a few days prior, which left a mark on my professional knowledge and ideology of patient care. An elderly Indian lady (above 70 years of age), who has been a resident to Australia for few decades was admitted for total knee – replacement surgery. The surgery and Post-operative aspects went on fine. It was as per our Nursing Care knowledge that we had to motivate the patient to sit up, and start moving/walking attempts after 2 days of the surgery (Lucas, 2008). However, the lady did not seem to muster the courage to do so and vehemently protest. Even though she was a resident of Australia for years, she still was not fluent in English and could speak broken English and did not understand when we spoke about the need for her to take the initiative. 
The Physical Therapist and other nurses, were trying to indicate a little forcefully how she needs to get up and at least try to move, but repeated communicating the same thing, was angering the lady and she was not willing to participate. Due to an apparent communication gap, she did not even understand what we were willing to convey.  Though this situation might appear to be a case of Professional Communication, but I feel facets of Person-centred care is also embedded in this situation. 

Reflection & Action 

Post complete knee replacement surgery it is important for the patient to try to move her knee and start walking under the supervision of a Physical Therapist, or else delay occurs in recovery and eases the new replacement and facilitates in strengthening of the muscles (Temple, 2006), but I realized that forcing the patient in question, will not lead to any benefit unless we communicate effectively and calmly to her. 
I understood that she will not understand the technical complications which might arise, and that is how I decided to first understand the reason for her protest – whether physically and physiologically everything was normal with her. I went to her, smiled and tried to talk about her, her life and attempted to create a bonding. Then I ensured that she was not complaining of any out of the ordinary pain or there is no presence of any other complications. Then I used visual aid, in the form of posters and explained slowly and used English in the simplest form, to explain to her why she should try and what will happen if she does not make an active attempt. It was like explaining to a 5 year old child and I also stressed upon the importance of positive thinking and the strength of her mind. She eventually agreed and started making an effort. 

Critical Reflection 

From the situation encountered by me, I understood that, in practical situations, we cannot always employ our theoretical understanding and knowledge that has been taught in class. There are limitations which arise, when theoretical knowledge is applied on to practical situations, and how modifications need to be brought about when application of theoretical knowledge has to be done. Vast differences exist between how and what we learn in class, and this is also of critical importance, as this creates the base on which our technical knowledge and expertise is created, but similarly practical exposure and experience is also critical where applications of such theoretical knowledge can be done but after modifying to suit the individual needs of every patient. 
I realized that each and every patient is different, and each of them is hailing from different backgrounds and has their own sets of beliefs, values, philosophy, life goals etc (Maier-Lorentz, 2008). Therefore, applying the same techniques and patient care strategies on to everyone might not lead to the desired outcome. In the process we would face challenges, and we need to modify our care as per the needs and requirements of individual patients (Norris, Currie and Lecko, 2012).
This incident also highlighted the importance of communication in patient care, and how changing simple strategies of communication can give rise to desired outcome (Bramhall, 2014). We, as the primary caregivers have to act as the path through which a patient would achieve complete recovery, hence, it is of critical importance, that we as nurses understand the nuances of individual philosophy and can create changes in the manner in which we practice our patient care. The final outcome that, the patient understood what I told her and trusted me and took attempts to make herself mobile, was extremely encouraging and motivating for me. Finally, the patient achieved full recovery and left the hospital after 7 days of surgery. 

Professional Development 

This situation which I went through highlighted the importance of professional communication and importance of customizing patient care. These are the two areas in which, I would like to focus more attention on and gain further understanding and knowledge. I also intend to develop further knowledge and experience in managing diversity and feel everyone inclusive of my care. I also understood the need to practice non-verbal communication with patients where there is a massive language gap. So this is one area in which I would like to focus my attention on, and associated with this I also need to learn how to customize patient care to suit their needs and wants more effectively. 

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Reference List 

Bramhall, E. (2014) ‘Effective communication skills in nursing practice’, Nursing Standard, 29(14), pp. 53–59. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.14.53.e9355.
Lucas, B. (2008) ‘Total hip and total knee replacement: preoperative nursing management.’, British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing), 17(21), pp. 1346–51. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199009203231206.
Maier-Lorentz, M. M. (2008) ‘Transcultural nursing: its importance in nursing practice.’, Journal of cultural diversity, 15, pp. 37–43. doi: http://search.proquest.com/docview/219364449?pq-origsite=gscholar.
Norris, B., Currie, L. and Lecko, C. (2012) ‘The importance of applying human factors to nursing practice’, Nursing Standard, 26(32), pp. 36–40. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.04.26.32.36.c9044.
Temple, J. (2006) ‘Care of patients undergoing knee replacement surgery’, Nursing Standard, 20(48), p. 48–60 11p. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=106336253&site=ehost-live. 

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