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Reflection on a Critical Incident Essay

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The reason for this essay is to reflect on a critical incident experience during my six week placement as a student nurse on an orthopedic ward. To explore an event as a critical incident is a value judgment, and the basis of that judgment is the significance attached to the meaning of the incident. Critical incidents are created or produced by the way we look at a situation. Tripp (1993)

The incident chosen has made an impact on me due to the fact the side effects of surgery can be very critical to a patient’s life, as would be demonstrated in the critical incident chosen (D.V.T). Deep vein thrombosis.

There are various reflective models written by various theorists and they include: Atkins and Murphy (1994), Stephenson (1993), Johns (2000), and Gibbs (1988). For this critical incident the model I have chosen to use is Gibbs (1988) reflective model as a guide because it is more understandable and will reflect more clearly on this critical incident. It is widely known that experience alone is not adequate enough to guarantee that any learning takes place, so it is important that integration of past experiences with new experiences occurs. This is done through the process of reflection. (Fitzgerald 1994).

“To be self aware is to be conscious of one’s character, including beliefs, values, qualities, strengths and limitation. It is about knowing oneself” (Burnard 1992). “It underpins the entire process of reflection because it allows people to see themselves in a particular situation and honestly observe how they have been affected by the situation and to analyse his or her own feelings.” (Bulman and Schultz 2008). “Through reflection you develop skills in being able to watch yourself in action, during the course of you...


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...health professionals and students. Nursing Standard 27.25 (2013): 41-48. Print

NMC - Nursing Midwifery Council (2015), The Code for nurses and midwives
http://www.nmc.org.uk/standards/code/

SCHÖN D A (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: how professionals think in action London: Temple Smith

Stephenson (1993) In Reflective practice in nursing: the growth of the professional
practitioner, ed. A.M. Palmer, S. Burns and C, Bulman 1994, Blackwell Scientific
Publications, Oxford, UK and Boston, USA.

Taylor, Beverly J. (2000) Reflective Practice: A Guide for Nurses and Midwives. Open University Press

Tripp, D. (1993) Critical Incidents in Teaching. Developing Professional Judgement. London: Routledge.

Williams, B (2001) Developing critical reflection for professional practice through problem-based learning. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Apr;34(1):27-34.


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