Gibb's Model of Communication - An Interaction

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Joanne Birkbeck               NU1071                G20573441

'A 2000 word reflection, based on communication and interpersonal skills.Using Gibbs reflective model (1988)'.

This is a reflective essay based on an experience during a clinical placement at a local hospital. The purpose of this essay is to examine the use of communication and interpersonal skills in clinical practice. I have decided on a particular event where a considerable length of time was spent communicating verbally and non verbally with a particular patient. To protect the identity and maintain confidentiality of the patient to be discussed they shall be referred to as 'Mary', this is in accordance with the NMC code of professional conduct (2008). To aid me in the process of reflection Gibbs reflective model (1988) will be used. The Gibbs cycle consists of a description of the event, my feelings towards what happened, an evaluation of the event, an analysis, a conclusion, and an action plan.Reflection is an important part of nursing as it allows us to examine our abilities and gives the opportunity to improve the way we care in the future (Nurse Education Today, 2010).

One morning during my clinical placement an opportunity arose to assist in a clinic that performs lumbar punctures. A lumbar puncture is a procedure to withdraw some of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord to check its pressure and aid in the diagnosis of neurological conditions. Mary was a 50 year old lady who had been experiencing some numbness and tingling in her arms and legs which was causing difficulties in her daily life, therefore she had been asked to attend the clinic to have a lumbar puncture. I introduced myself as a student nurse and explained my role and involvement in the procedure. Her vital signs including blood pressure were recorded and we waited for the doctor to arrive. When the doctor entered the room she too introduced herself and began to explain the procedure to Mary, after which Mary signed the consent form and the doctor prepared the necessary instruments. During the procedure it was clear to me that Mary was feeling very on edge and becoming quite agitated. The doctor appeared not to notice but It became bad enough for Mary to request that the doctor stopped the procedure. The doctor did not appear happy but agreed and left the room explaining she would consult one of her colleagues. I was then left alone with Mary who had by now started to cry. I positioned a chair next to her and asked her about her concerns. Having already experienced two previous procedures I had gained some knowledge, so on talking to Mary it became clear that she had either misunderstood or not had the procedure fully explained to her. The doctor was of Asian decent and I realised that there had been a language barrier between Mary and the doctor which had caused the initial confusion and anxiety. Soon after another doctor arrived, he clearly explained the procedure again which put Mary at ease and allowed the procedure to be performed successfully. This time I sat with Mary and held her hand for comfort which seemed to help a great deal. After the procedure Mary relaxed and thanked me for my help and understanding. I responded appropriately and asked her would she like a hot drink.

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My initial feelings were mixed,firstly there was the feeling of excitement and intrigue at the idea of being involved in the clinic and learning new skills. I started to feel anxious when the doctor began asking me questions and involving me in the procedure. There was a clear language barrier which made me feel embarrassed and uneasy. My feelings changed again when Mary became distressed and upset. Finding myself alone with her in quite an emotional state made me panic and unsure of what to say. I also felt anger towards the doctor who arguably had put me ...

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