Clinical practice is a good opportunity for the nursing student to practice clinical skills and experience the real work environment. However, it is not easy to apply the theory and knowledge learned from the university to a practical application, which not only requires patience and determination, but also requires various learning skills, such as instantaneous reaction (Queensland Health 2018). After experience a conversation with a female mental health patient who was been sexually assaulted, I realized that reflective skills are crucial, is not only just for my current status as nursing student but also for my future professional development as registered nurse in Australia. Reflective practice can be used to help nurses understand the work situation and ultimately improve care; it is the core component of professional development of all health professionals. Without it, learning and self-growth will become more difficult and job satisfaction will be affected (Watkins 2018). According to Caldwell & Grobbel statement that the practice of reflection is a continuous circulation, which experience and reflective experience are interrelated (Caldwell & Grobbel 2013).
In the essay, I will re-consider my experiences and explain how it can be used as evidence to demonstrate, how reflective activities can help professional development nurses. This reflection will follow Johns’ reflection model, which describes the experiences, my personal feelings and my refection, influencing factors and my learning from the event. In the conclusion, a detailed action plans will be developed for my future clinical practice. Oxford Brookes University stated that the description of the experience, refection, influencing factors, learning of empirics, ethics, personal and aesthetics has been derived from the Johns’ reflection model (Oxford Brookes University 2018).
This situation occurred when I was doing the stimulation at my mental health lab class. My classmate and I were paired as a group and had a conversation with Mrs Rebecca about her encounters. Mrs Rebecca (around 40’s age) called for help because she had been sexually abused about couple days ago. Through the conversation, we found that it was her second time to been persecuted by the sexually abused. Rebecca stated that the first time happened when she was 7 years old, she was terribly frightened because no one believed in her even her own family, it took Rebecca so long to healing herself, but healing doesn’t mean that she will forget the trauma experiences or have no emotional pain when remembering them. Because of the sexual abuse this time, all those bad times she went through was back to her and as such, she is repelled interactions with any man even with her own husband. Rebecca and her husband was slept in a separate beds/rooms ever since, she says, “I love my husband so much, he is my hero but I just need time to be alone, I don’t want him to touch or do anything to me, I felt sick”. Rebecca have been having nightmares in the past days, she can’t sleep well and keep having negative thoughts. Rebecca locked herself in her den, eliminated all the connections with the public, starting to drink heavily and grew relying on prescription drugs and even starting to harm on her left wrist by knife. As Rebecca was trying to escape from the reality, fortunately she has her husband on her side to support, and had a psychological therapist to act as a guide in her recovery.
At the beginning of the whole things, I did feel that I should have a better and deeper understanding of Mrs Rebecca; I should talk about her current mental stage more in details, she became anorexic and began to self-harm (cutting herself with a knife), having drinking problems, drug dependence, stress and eating disorder, such problems in fact maybe signs of an underlying mood disorder. Above all, I didn’t really ask her in details, also didn’t say
Caldwell, L & Grobbel, C, C 2013, “The importance of reflective practice in nursing”, International Journal of Caring Sciences, vol. 6, issue 3, pp. 319-325, viewed 6 May 2018, http://www.internationaljournalofcaringsciences.org/docs/4.%20us%20La.Caldwell.pdf
Watkins, A 2018, Reflective practice as a tool for growth, media release, viewed 6 May 2018, https://www.ausmed.com/articles/reflective-practice/
Oxford Brookes University 2018, About Johns’ Model of Structured Reflection, media release, OBU, Oxford.
Queensland Health 2018, Clinical practice, Information booklet, Queensland Government, QLD.