This essay is going to focus on the nursing skills that I developed during a period of placement simulations and in the community, placing emphasis on oral care, communication with a non-engaging patient and bed bath. It will outline the fundamental aspects of clinical nursing skills that I have begun to acquire. This will also highlight the learning processes which took place and how it helped me to enhance my knowledge, and ethical values in order to deliver quality and safety of care. Using other sources of current literature, I will use a reflective model to discuss how I have achieved the necessary level of learning outcome. By utilising this model I hope to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding in relation to these skills as well as identifying areas with scope for learning.
Reflection is the process of reviewing an experience in order to describe analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice (Reid 1993). There are many reflective models that I could have used, including Johns (2004), Driscoll (2000), Atkins and Murphy (1994), Kolb’s (1984), and Gibbs (1988).
However, Gibbs (1988) model of reflection model was selected, as a framework, because it focuses on different aspects of an experience and allows the learner to revisit the event fully. By contemplating it thus, I am able to appreciate it and guided to where future development work is required.
For confidentiality (NMC, 2008) purposes, patient’s real names will not be used and will be referred to as R where appropriate.
Skill 1: Oral Care
I was part of a placement simulation group which went to the multi-skills laboratory to practice delivering and receiving oral hygiene. I was assigned a colleague to brush his teeth using a toothbrush and paste. I put on gloves to prevent contamination (NICE 2003). Seeking his consent, I undertook a brief visual assessment of his mouth’s health. I then put him in a comfortable position so that he could tolerate the wash. Thereafter, I cleaned all-round the mouth, gums and tongue. I finished off by helping him to rinse his mouth with mouthwash. I treated my partner as though he was physically unable to hold the brush himself to scrub his own teeth, but he was able to communicate with me and was able to assist me in terms of spitting and gargling with water at the end of the procedure.
When first informed that I was expected to undertake this task I felt anxious and concerned. I was aware that I had not brushed anyone’s teeth outside of my family before and that the mouth is an intimate and personal part of the body which is not usually exposed to anyone other than me or the dentist. I was concerned about how my partner (whom I did not know well at that stage) would react to me examining his mouth. Writers have described such intimate physical assessments as creating a potentially intrusive situation (Lewis 2006, Sturdy 2007) which might cause the patient to feel uncertain and inadequate....