Nursing according to me is one of the noblest careers that are existent at the moment. Nursing helps people when they are at their most need. Through nurses, other workers within the medical industry are able to be facilitated to work and perform their duties accordingly. The patients also benefit from the work of nurses by having a conducive environment as they recover from the illness that they are suffering from. It is through nurses that hospitals become habitable and a place where indeed patients can recover from their ailments.
It is also important to note that not all nurses act according to the expectation. This has led to the set-up of certain conduct codes by the National Health Service (NHS), scholars have also come up with the 6 Cs of nursing to try and define how nurses should behave during work and after work. Nurses deal with clients, patients in this case who are vulnerable and weak to abuse. It is therefore important that they are aware of what is expected of them and a code that they all must abide by.
In the course of my nursing training and experience I have encountered experiences where the nurse in charge has totally contravened all the laid down codes by NHS and nursing professionals. There is also this occasion where I met a nurse who was utterly professional in his work and from this experience I learned a lot. It became clear to me that it is actually possible for one to deliver good, quality services to their patients while at the same time observing the laid down code of ethics and professionalism (Woods, 2005). This occurred to me when I was in my placement when studying. I was apportioned the hepatobiliary and upper Gastrointestinal Surgery wards. My main tasks included removing wound staples and making dressing changes. The placement took three months and it is during this period that I got to learn most of what I know now. During this period I worked with an experienced nurse who is my mentor now and who has helped me heavily in my career journey. I owe my success unto him. In this reflective report I will discuss some of the lessons I learnt from him and how he applied professionalism in his work.
The Driscoll reflective model will be applied in this paper to clarify on some of my experiences and lessons learned from it. The model was developed by John Driscoll where he matched 3 questions as part of the experiential learning cycle (Bryan, 2010). He even added trigger questions that once used will complete the learning cycle. One of the reasons that this model was chosen is due to the simplicity of the model. The stem questions are easily remembered able and contain just three frameworks which are conclusive in the learning cycle.
Reflection can be defined as the process where one witnesses their own experiences and haves a closer look at these experiences. Rolfe, Freshwater & Jasper, (2001) made it clear that the learning process involves doing and then later on realizing what we have learned from the action. Reflecting is more than just thoughtful practice but is that form of practice that relooks at professional conduct with the interest of learning something from it. This helps practitioners with the advantage of continuous learning, growth, and development just by practice, (Jarvis, 1992). This is the reason why I feel that this exercise will be very helpful to me and my career as it will help cement what I learned from this experience. The application of the Driscoll reflective model will make this even easier and more fun as I go down the memory lane.
What of the reflective experience
In accordance with the Driscoll reflective model, it is crucial, to begin with the actual experience. This involves a narration of the events that one remembers in their experience. While one cannot account for all events on the occasion it is important that the writer gives as many details as possible. This is important in ensuring that the reader will be able to see how the events are related to the actual lessons learned.
As part of my training, I was expected to attend a placement session where I would learn while practicing what I have learned in class. It is not enough to be in class and not be able to practice what one has learned. This makes the placement session a very important part of the education system. It is during this process that I was able to meet one of the most professional and outstanding nurses in my life.
During the three months that I was attached to the local hospital, I had duties in the hepatobiliary and upper Gastrointestinal Surgery wards where I would be placed. Being my first time charged with such responsibilities it was not an easy experience (Gastmans, 2002). My tasks involved dressing wounds and removing wound staples. As one can tell this was a tough experience. The kind of pain that the clients I was dealing with were going through was unbearable making me pity them even more. It was not understandable that some nurses would be rude and lack empathy for such clients who are in this deep pain. During my period I was required to work under the supervision of Mr. T. This is anonymized to seal the identity of the nurse for their job security.
When I was first introduced to Mr. T my first impression on him was that I was going to have a rough time. He was silent and reserved in his words. When the hospital administrator introduced me to Mr. T all he had to say to me was asked whether I had worked before. Once I told him that I had not worked before I thought he would be interested to know more about me. However, to my shock, he did not ask anything else. He just welcomed me to the facility and told me to have a happy learning period. After that, we departed from each other as the administrator took me for a tour of the hospital. Once the administrator was done with the tour he asked me to go home and come the following morning.
On my first day after the introduction, I arrived early to work. Surprisingly I met that Mr. T had already arrived. After the usual morning greetings, Mr. T passed me a schedule for when he would be on duty for the next week. Since I was working with him it meant that this schedule was also mine. He was to work 2-night shifts that week and I was excited to be working with him.
After we had worked with him for several months my impression on him had totally changed. I had come to know that Mr. T had soft spots and that he was one of the most reasonable persons I was to ever meet. He was an introvert and therefore the few words. I got to learn that the few words that he said meant a lot and that he thought through an idea before spitting it out. It was rare to catch him saying anything that he was not sure about. This was not just something that he did when interacting with me and other staffs but also with patients. Some patients found him to be weird that he would go silent when asked a question only to give an answer seconds later. Some actually trusted him more as they knew that he was telling them was something he had thought of.
Most of the patients we were dealing with had burns or had been involved in accidents and therefore it called utmost care when dealing with them. Most of them the actual problem was not more of the wounds or injuries but rather the trauma that they had experienced. This meant that one would need to psychologically deal with them in a respectable manner that would not infringe more harm on their already delicate brains.
One of the events that are still in my mind was one night when we were on night shift. Mr. T informed me that there would be many patients arriving and that we needed to be prepared. There had been a fire and there were many victims. All nurses not on duty were also called to come and assist. While most people were in a panic mode, Mr. T was calm as usual. To date, I have never understood how he is able to be calm in such moments. Due to his calmness, we were able to serve many clients, wrapping medicine and bandages. The clients would also be calm when being attended by Mr. T and not worry much as he didn’t look worried himself.
So what of the reflective experience
While working as a nurse there is the various code of conduct and constitutions that one is supposed to follow. These include the NHS constitution and values together with the widely debated 6Cs of nursing. Through these laid down, codes nurses are able to be held accountable for their own words and actions. Remember the patients that nurses deal with are vulnerable and mostly those admitted in hospitals. This means that such patients can easily be manipulated and therefore the need for guidance on the nurse’s conduct. These codes are not only meant to help the patient but also the nurse. Matters of conduct are highly debatable as there are many grey areas that can lead to conflicts. It is therefore important that there is a guiding principle that both parties can refer to when there is a conflict.
The NHS constitution is developed on the basis that NHS belongs to the England citizens (Constitution, 2012. This, therefore, means that it is the duty of every NHS employee to improve the health and the wellbeing of every citizen including those that are physically and mentally fine (Constitution, 2012). NHS staff are expected to help citizens recover from illness whenever they fall ill and this to go on until the end of their lives.
In accordance with the NHS constitution, Mr. T observed all the principles laid down by the constitution in his daily working life. One of the principles is to provide comprehensive service to everybody (Choices, 2013). During the three months, I did not observe Mr. T discriminate any patient nor favor any of his patients. All patients were treated equally and given any service that they needed and were available (Hollis, 2012). In every day of our partnership, Mr. T endeavored to provide the highest possible standards of excellence and professionalism. He was always kind to patients and treated them with the utmost respect possible. He not only focused on the patient recovery but also on his experience during his recovery period. In everything that Mr. T did was directed towards his patients. He wanted them to have all that they needed making it crucial for them to recover. I would see that he would be highly affected whenever there was a situation that he could not help. This is in accordance with the 4th principle of the NHS constitution that requires that the patient is at the heart of everything that is done by NHS.
One of the greatest credit that I give to Mr. T is how he accepted me as part of his team and inner circle. This is despite the fact that I was inexperienced and lacked the knowledge. I was then to learn from him most of the things that I know today. It was from him that I was able to learn the ins and outs of a wound dressing and how to treat patients with humility and empathy. He was able to see me for who I am and treat me with respect while at the same time ensuring that I was learning something from him. He was able to work across the organization with other parts of the local community including students like me. Through his services, the NHS can be able to give taxpayer’s value for money if majority of the nurses were to act like him (Stephenson, 2014).
During our time together Mr. T was able to instill some sense of accountability in me. He liked to say that one should not be accountable to the system or to the boss but rather to himself. That`s the reason why he arrived to work one hour before the stipulated time. This is due to the fact that he had set his own arrival time to work which was one hour before his shift begins. He would then hold himself accountable for this arrival time. This would ensure that he was well prepared for his shift and that he was not in conflict with his superiors for lateness. This is just one of the things that he had set for himself. Any target given by the hospital, Mr. T had his own target which was much higher than the one set.
One does not need to go through the laid down values of the NHS, all they need to do is look at how Mr. T does his tasks. He is a clear definition of what the drafters of the values envisaged by the members of staff of NHS. The values expect employees to work together in helping the patients (Miller and Bird, 2014). In all that Mr. T did it was to the benefit of the patients. This included even the books he was reading. He was very attracted to the topic of showing empathy and would read many articles on how to show empathy and how to tell when someone is giving fake empathy. This was all meant for improving his customer experience services.
The other values include Respect, dignity, commitment, Compassion, Improving lives and everyone counts. All these values have one thing in common. They are calling upon the staffs to treat people equally and the same. While being compassionate one could find himself only showing compassion to just the people he cares about or people of his color. During the three months placement, we served people from all walks of life. Mr. T was compassionate and empathetic to all patients. There was not a day that he forgot or was late in administering medicine to his patients. Due to the pain that these clients were suffering from it was crucial that they are given painkillers at the respective timelines. Failure to do so would mean that the patients would suffer much.
6 Cs of Nursing
As a trained nurse Mr. T was able to depict the 6Cs of nursing in actions as an NHS staff. These include care, compassion, communication, courage, commitment and competent (Clarke, 2014a). A good situation where he showed courage was the night that there were a fire downtown and many victims. Despite the horrifying scenes, he was able to be calm and serve patients at his best. One of the hardest C to implement is that of communication (Nevins, Hawes, and Wren, 2016). Mr. T was able to constantly communicate with his patients at times delivering some of the hardest news. In a sense of style not with anyone else Mr. T was able to deliver this news without necessarily demoralizing the patient. The mental situation is crucial to the recovery of the patient (Clarke, 2014b). This led to most of the nurses asking Mr. T to deliver news to their patients on their behalf which he did without being reluctant to assist. This made him very popular and likable amongst his colleagues which is something I admired.
Now what section of the reflection
Due to the encounter with Mr. T, one thing changed inside me. During classes, I always wondered how one person was to be able to meet the provisions of all these codes and still perform their duties. This perception that there were just too many codes, constitutions and moral judgments that stood in line with the provision of nursing services has been totally changed. I now believe that an individual can actually provide quality services while at the same time meeting the laid down codes of ethics and observing the NHS constitution.
One of the lessons learned from Mr. T was on the matter of punctuality. It is during my time with him that I was able to learn how punctuality impacts on the performance of an individual. He taught me that once one gets punctuality right all the other aspects of the nursing job fall in place. Before meeting Mr. T I was always late in everything I did. Procrastination was also a major challenge. I would find myself doing tasks the last moments though I had had enough time to prepare. This would affect my performance in class as well. This was due to the fact that most of my papers would be hurriedly done leading to poor grades. This has however changed since I met Mr. T. I am now able to do tasks way before deadline and when I fail it is due to other reasons and not hurriedly doing tasks.
Another lesson learned from Mr. T was on the importance of communication. Mr. T taught me that one of the most underrated tasks of a nurse is communicating with the patient. He mentioned that he could attribute hi communication skills to the few numbers of patients that he has lost to death as compared to his peers. He said that through communicating with empathy, compassion and caring tone he was able to give patients hope and the will to fight for their lives (Watterson, 2013). He also mentioned that due to the paid that the patients were undergoing he was able to reduce it just by his words.
Undressing and removing wound staples is a difficult task to carry out and especially when one is dealing with patients e.g. children and the elderly. One can be really tormented by the scenes and the pity on the patients. Mr. T taught me to separate work from my daily lives. That`s why he advised me never to see a client without being dressed in the nursing uniform. He said that once one had won the white uniform, he had become a nurse and not a father, brother or kin. This meant that they were now at work which would end once you remove the uniform. He explained that setting one’s psychology like that meant that one would be able to forget about work once they get home. He said that using this tactic would also bring about commitment when working as one knew this would come to an end soon. Meeting Mr. T was one of my best learning moments and I will always treasure the three months we worked together. We became friends and to date, he has been my mentor teaching me on how to constantly improve in my career.
In this paper, we have seen how my three months placement session ended up being one of the most adventurous and educative section of my life. I met with Mr. T who is my mentor to date. Mr. T was a nurse with whom I was allocated to work under. I was expected to be his assistant and learn from him during his working hours. We were, therefore, working hand in hand during the entire period. It is from Mr. T that I learned that it was possible for one to serve clients while at the same time observing the many codes and guidelines that nurses are expected to observe. These include the NHS constitution, NHS values, 6 Cs of nursing and the NMC code of ethics. While these may see a lot to handle and still achieve professionalism, Mr. T proved that it was actually possible.
Through my placement session, I was not only taught on how to dress wounds and also remove wound staples. I was also taught on the soft side of working as a nurse. One might be an expert in removing wound staples and dressing them, but they will, however, fail if they are not able to show care, compassion and empathy to their patients (Muls, et.al. 2015). Mr. T showed all these and this could be seen from the nice reviews that he would receive from patients once they felt better. Mr. T was also highly ethical in his dealing always respecting patients as they were the boss and he was their servant. It was nice to see that most of the patients knew his name by the time they left the wards. While there were many nurses they would only remember Mr. T and maybe a few other nurses. This showed that Mr. T had touched them which is important in the field of nursing. It not all about the provision of services but also what you make others feel. Punctuality was also cored to Mr. T and this showed the level of discipline and commitment he had to his job. He taught me that for one to be successful in their job they need to be punctual in all they do as this is the first step towards success.
Bryan, A., 2010. The reflective practitioner model as a means of evaluating development education practice: Post-primary teachers’ self-reflections on’doing’development education. Policy & Practice-A Development Education Review, (11).
Choices, N.H.S., 2013. About the NHS.
Clarke, C., 2014a. 6Cs of nursing. Nursing Standard, 28(44), pp.52-59.
Clarke, C., 2014b. Promoting the 6Cs of nursing in patient assessment. Nursing Standard (2014+), 28(44), p.52.
Constitution, N.H.S., 2012. The NHS Constitution, the NHS belongs to us all.
Dourish, P., 1995. Developing a reflective model of collaborative systems. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 2(1), pp.40-63.
Gastmans, C., 2002. A fundamental ethical approach to nursing: some proposals for ethics education. Nursing ethics, 9(5), pp.494-507.
Hollis, M., 2012. Using the NHS Change Model to support the 6 Cs of Nursing.
Jameton, A., 1984. Nursing practice: The ethical issues.
Jarvis, P., 1992. Reflective practice and nursing. Nurse Education Today, 12(3), pp.174-181.
Miller, S. and Bird, J., 2014. Assessment of practitioners’ and students’ values when recruiting. Nursing Management (2014+), 21(5), p.22.
Muls, A., Dougherty, L., Doyle, N., Shaw, C., Soanes, L. and Stevens, A.M., 2015. Influencing organisational culture: a leadership challenge. British Journal of Nursing, 24(12), pp.633-638.
Nevins, M., Hawes, D. and Wren, J., 2016. Integrating the 6Cs of nursing into paramedic practice. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 8(9), pp.440-441.
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. and Jasper, M., 2001. Critical reflection for nursing and the helping professions: A user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Stephenson, J., 2014. NHS England to roll out ‘6Cs’ nursing values to all health service staff. Nursing Times, 23.
Watterson, L., 2013. 6Cs+ principles= care. Nursing Standard (through 2013), 27(46), p.24.
Woods, M., 2005. Nursing ethics education: are we really delivering the good (s)?. Nursing ethics, 12(1), pp.5-18.