Reflection On A Critical Incident Essay

1770 words - 7 pages

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 your work day, noticing the nature of interactions and their outcomes” (Taylor 2000).

Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience. “One may also reflect on practice while one is on the midst of it. This process involves both reflections in action and reflection in practice (Johns 2000). Schon states that reflection in action consists of on the spot surfacing, criticizing, restructuring and testing of intuitive understanding of experience phenomenon (Schon 1983) P.241.

“Reflective learning involves assessment and re-assessment of assumptions and critical reflective occurs whenever underlying premises are being questioned”.(Williams 2001) P.29.

In choosing Gibbs reflective model it would be illustrated in the six headings which guide me through my reflective process. These headings include:

(1.) Description – what happened?

(2.) Feelings – what were you feeling?

(3.) Evaluation – what was good or bad about the experience?

(4.) Analysis – what sense can be made of the situation?

(5.) Conclusion – what else could you have done?

(6.) Action plan – if the situation arises again what would you do?


This critical incident took...

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