Student Nurse Placement Reflection and Personal Development Plan.

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The purpose of this essay is to reflect on my experience and skills gained during a two-week clinical placement as a first year Student Nurse and also the learning outcomes stated in my Personal Development Plan (PDP). This experience will relate to the development of ability to form therapeutic relationships with patients stated in my PDP as a Learning Objective. In accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Professional Conduct (2008) all personal information and locations have been changed to protect confidentiality.

I have chosen Driscolls Model of Reflection (2006) as it consists of three questions (‘what?, so what?, now what?’) that facilitate critical thinking and in-depth reflection which, in turn, will help me to compile learning objectives for the future. Driscoll (2006) describes reflection as a euphemism like looking in to the mirror at your appearance, you may like what you see and not need to change your appearance but on the other hand there could be something you do not like which needs to change in order to be improved.

According to the British Medical Association (2009) a PDP can be used as a framework for individuals to highlight their strengths and weaknesses, this encourages lifelong learning. The ability to reflect is a vital part of life that requires a balanced thinking process and the capacity to look at your shortcomings. If an individual is unable to reflect on their past then they will be incapable of making change for the future (Taylor, 2006).

Forming therapeutic relationships is an important aspect of nursing; indeed, Videbeck (2010) states that therapeutic relationships should be used to ‘build trust, explore feelings, assist the client in problem- solving, and help the client meet psychosocial needs.’ This is supported by Chambers (1998) who believes that the very core of nursing is based around having a therapeutic relationship and McCabe (2004) validated this by suggesting that a relationship between a Nurse and a patient is formed exclusively to ensure the patients’ needs are met, thus being therapeutic in nature and resulting in the provision of quality nursing.

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The ward worked on is an Acute Assessment Ward. It is a short stay ward in which patients are assessed and then stabilised before being transferred to the relevant ward or being sent home. During my placement, I endeavoured to form therapeutic relationships with each patient individually. I did this by engaging patients in conversation, being empathetic, listening and maintaining a non-judgemental attitude, skills that Boyd (2008) found to be important when studying to be a mental health Nurse. Patient A was a female with a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder. I found it very difficult to ...

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