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The Critical Incident: A challenging communication cncounter - Essay Example

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The Critical Incident: A challenging communication cncounter

I asked her to calm down and explain the situation. She was barely coherent, shouting at the interns and the nurses on duty. Apparently, the equipment was showing falling levels of oxygen saturation and no one was concerned enough to investigate the issue. Besides, some alarm was ringing inside the ward and the neonatologist was not summoned. The mother was really out of control and shouting at everyone. It took me more than half an hour to calm her down. In between I also got angry and tried to reason out the delay in nurses attending to the issue. She got more violent and began to throw a few things off the table. In the end we had to restrain her physically albeit for a few minutes. She broke down, sobbing. I kept a gentle arm on her shoulder and made her sit down. Meanwhile I ordered a cup of coffee at her request. It was handed over to her. Then I asked her if she had taken her breakfast. She replied in the negative. I ordered a quick but healthy breakfast from the hospital canteen. Once she consumed her breakfast, she was able to speak coherently. Even now, she was a bit loud and angry, but she was more logical and rational than before. I realized that there were shortcomings on the part of the nurses on duty also. Since the incident happened just before my shift was beginning, I was unable to understand the context fully. Structured Reflection Sometime later, I was trying to assess what had happened during the situation in the neo-natal ward. Firstly, what were the issues that were apparent on the surface? My reactions to the issues must also be analyzed. The primary issue was negligence on the part of the nurses and attendants on duty at the ward. The secondary issue was the tantrum thrown by the mother, though in hindsight, the tantrums were probably justified. On reaching the scene, I was initially angry and flustered. I reacted instinctively, trying to fight fire with fire. I was perhaps not successful. It only resulted in the argument getting louder. My feelings during the encounter ranged from anger to empathy. In the first instance, I perhaps started arguing and countering her on the various allegations raised. At this juncture, I was going by the gut. There was no thought on my part. I was merely reacting like a provoked child. Perhaps, my reactions were influenced by the nature of the encounter. Maybe, the situation was completely out of line with the otherwise quiet and brisk environment of the hospital. Possibly that made me angry. In a sense, I was trying to attack someone who was violating the sanctity of silence at the place. After the first ten minutes, I was able to pull myself back and this is where things started getting back to normalcy. I also need to question myself as to whether I responded in an adequate manner. My frank response is that I was brash and curt with the patient’s mother and it was pretty unreasonable behavior on my part. However, when analyzing the second part of my reaction, I can say that I moved towards the role of a care-giver – a person who is able to handle a lot of stress and can make peace in the midst of strife. What influenced me to change my stance? One reason could be that I realized the futility of arguing with someone whose dearest child was fighting for survival. Under such circumstances, anything could be excused. Perhaps I also empathized with her, trying to fit myself into her shoes. That changed my whole perception of the encounter. At ...Show more


Reflective Paper The Critical Incident: A challenging communication encounter I was working as a nurse associated with the neo-natal ward in the hospital. The neo-natal ward had 4 pre-term babies at that point of time. There was a special case of one baby boy who was born at 26 weeks gestation and weighed about 1.5 pounds at birth…
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The Critical Incident: A challenging communication cncounter essay example
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