Reflect on an incident and explore and discuss research and theory with my understanding of the incident.

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Robena Selby                16/06/07


The aims and objectives of this assignment are to reflect on an incident and to explore and discuss research and theory with my understanding of the incident.  Within this study the client referred to will be called Mr Bloggs, this is in order that his real name is protected and that his confidentiality will be maintained, in line with the UKCC code of conduct (1992). This contributes to one of the four NMC outcomes (Professional/ethical practice). My critical incident took place at a local Hospital during my thirty weeks placement.

In order to help me with my reflection I have chosen Gibbs (1988), as the model to help guide my reflective process.  This is an iterative model with six stopping points, using these stopping points as headings; I will be able to reflect fully on the incident. So, what is reflection?  According to Reid (1993), “reflection is a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice”.


Mr Bloggs was admitted to my allocated placement in an acute medical ward and he came in with an alcohol problem. He was found in the street unconscious with bruises all over his face down to his arms. He had been drinking heavily which made him aggressive.  They put him into the side ward, as it appeared as if he could be harmful to the other patients. As I began my shift I could see he was becoming agitated.  It was a bit chaotic in the ward, staff nurses were rushing around, and doctors were preparing for the ward round.  I sat at the nurses’ station with a piece of paper in my hand preparing for hand over.  Mr Bloggs came and sat beside me and looked annoyingly at one of the staff nurses.  As the staff nurse was quite busy, she did not have enough time to assess him.  I was not aware that this had made him more agitated.  I tried to ignore him, as he was walking up and down the ward corridor and sometimes disappearing.  My colleagues had to keep finding him and leading him back to his bed.

Time went by, and the afternoon staff took over.  One staff nurse did the drug round, and he was trying to communicate to Mr Bloggs to eat his lunch, as he needed it for his medication. He refused to eat and went to the gentleman’s bay. The staff nurse continued his drug rounds and he bumped in to Mr Bloggs again.  The nurse tried to persuade him to eat his dinner up, as he needed it.  Mr Bloggs refused to eat his dinner again and demanded to have some alcohol.  The nurse explained to him that he was not allowed to have alcohol in the hospital.  This made him more frustrated and increased his violent behaviour.  Tadd (1998) states that staff can sometimes experience other powerful emotions, such as anger and resentment, towards an aggressive client. Others can be emotionally affected by heightened feelings of fear and suffer a loss of confidence in their own ability to cope.  He was more aggressive verbally and within few minutes he attacked the nurse.  I was shocked and could not move when I saw what had happened.  The emergency bell alarmed and everybody rushed into him. I then managed to go to them and tried to help pull him away from the nurse.  His family arrived to reassure him. The nurse was hurt, and was bleeding.  The nurse was also shocked, as he had not expected this to happen.  I then found that Mr Bloggs had been transferred to another ward.  

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Reflecting on the incident I felt that I did not act in the best interest for the safety of all the staff and patients on the ward, including myself.  I knew that Mr Bloggs had a history of violence and aggression, but I did not do anything to prevent the incident from happening.  According to Braitewaite (2001) people become aggressive when their needs are not met, and aggression is a way of relieving frustration.  This is equally true for this incident when Mr Bloggs demand for alcohol was not met, therefore attacking the staff nurse because of ...

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