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Personal experience at a community healthcare facility

It is at St. Cecilia Nursing Home that I got to internalize the concept of Gibbs Model in a practical way and in accordance with the tenets of the NMC guidelines (NMC 2008). Thus, the following essay is a reflective chronology of my practical experience at St. Cecilia with respect to ethical issues of informed consent, confidentiality, professional conduct, and empathy as well as respect and dignity for patients (see Appendix 1). Reflective Practice When I joined St. Cecilia as a student and assigned to Ward X (fictitious for purposes of confidentiality), I thought I knew everything ranging from protocol adherence to professional conduct. It seemed to me that I could work on my own and deliver the best services to the elderly patients afflicted with dementia. I wanted to exude confidence in my nursing skills and for the first time my attitude was a little rigid. What I did not actually think of was the fact that I was outside an ordinary classroom and that my work at St. Cecilia required a great deal of teamwork, patience and commitment as postulated by Miranda and Best (2005, p.51) and Suzie (2001, p.1209). With time, the interaction with my patient (let us call him Uncle Richard) helped me develop the right momentum for doing the right thing through reflective nursing practice in accordance with the Gibbs Model of reflective practice as disused hereafter. My assignment in Ward X was to feed an elderly patient herein referred to as Uncle Richard (fictitious name). The patient was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease dementia. Clinically, this dementia is characterized by declining memory and inability to make sound judgment or concentration (Cormac et al. 2004). This type of dementia resulting from the Parkinson’s disease also affects the cognition ability of patients resulting in delusion, depression, irritability, sleep disturbances and anxiety. While my patient could hardly interpret visual information, his condition was also accompanied by muffle speech. To make it worse, the patient had a hearing problem, his right arm amputated and he was a poor eater. It was important to explain some nursing issues to the patient almost daily and at times it forced me to pester the patient for several minutes before he could accept to eat. In terms of describing my feelings in of the experiences in Ward X, it would be prudent to uphold honesty as highlighted in the Gibbs Model (Gibbs 1988). Initially, it was difficult feeding the patient and staying with him was a little boring because of his memory problems, muffled speech and irritability. The patient was troublesome when it comes to eating, and occasionally I felt pissed off. At some point, empathic seeing that the patient could not even interpret a picture of his favourite dish. Once in a while, the routines made felt inadequate and out of place having to deal with a patient that seemed so difficult. Forcing my patient to eat was not a viable option especially that he still reserved the ethical right of patient autonomy (Cormac et al 2004, p.108; Guido 2006). It was however imperative to exercise some patience and understanding so as to cope with his condition and anxieties as required by NMC 2008. Learning to communicate with my patient was a breakthrough as time passed. Somehow, we became friends and the daily encounters with the patient became a normal practice after all. In his light moods, he would tell me a few things he could remember including a bit of his family life. Of course the stories were juggled up and some did not even make much sense. In some way, a few of his narrations were emotional and quite informative. For instance, one afternoon I felt remorseful when Uncle Richard told me how his wife abandoned him with a ten-year-old daughter ...Show more


Feeding the elderly patients at St. Cecilia Nursing Home (fictitious name) was one encounter like none other. It shaped my attitude and feelings about the nursing profession. It is at St. Cecilia Nursing Home that I got to internalize the concept of Gibbs Model in a practical way and in accordance with the tenets of the NMC guidelines (NMC 2008). …
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Personal experience at a community healthcare facility
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