As a part of course________, we were asked to complete a clinical skill assessment to assess the developed skills and to analyse our strengths and weaknesses. As a part of this assessment, I had to perform an abdominal physical assessment, I was working as per the designated protocol. However, I failed to perform the assessment successfully the first time. I did not perform auscultations in the all four quadrants and moved directly to the palpation assessment after recording auscultations in the third quadrant of the abdomen,. I was then interrupted by a senior facilitator who guided me and reminded me about the procedure, and helped me recall the essential steps. I followed the protocol and completed the assessment successfully.
When the assessment started I was a little nervous as I was trying to recall all the steps that must be followed in the abdominal assessment of the patient. When I was approaching the patient, I was alert that I must follow all the steps. However, I was not able to do this effectively due to nervousness. However, when I was reminded, I felt confident and was able to perform the assessment effectively.
The correct process of conducting and abdominal exam is to perform inspection, auscultation, palpation, and then percussion (Kim et al., 2016). The process of inspection includes positioning the patient and observing the physical structure of abdomen and assessment of skin color and texture. The second step is auscultation where the patient is placed in supine position and assessed for abdominal sounds in the four quadrants (Murshed et al., 2019). The next steps are palpation and percussion under which the pressure is applied on the abdomen to get the accurate assessment of physical health of the patient (Murshed et al., 2019). It is also crucial to ensure that a clean and aseptic environment is maintained to reduce the risk of infection or any health complication (Kim et al., 2016). When I was approaching the patient for the abdominal assessment, I had planned my action but failed to execute them. However, through the intervention of the senior facilitator, I was able to correct my course and perform the physical abdominal examinations as per the established guidelines.
Proper physical examination of abdomen is essential as it helps in the identification of the primary problems that are associated with the physical health of the patient (LoLoi et al., 2018). Therefore, adherence to the developed protocols becomes crucial to ensure the beneficence of the patient. The four quadrants must be assessed individually in a systematic manner and the observations should be recorded accordingly (Kim et al., 2016). In the given case, the intervention of the senior facilitator the established conduct and also ensured the well-being of the patient by ensuring that I followed the principles of abdominal assessment accurately.
The experience of completing the assessment was a learning experience where I was able to test my skills for conducting the physical abdominal examination. I was also able to understand my strengths and weaknesses in the examination that I wish to improve through an action plan. Through this reflection, I conclude that I need to work on my presence of mind and adherence to the protocols.
The main purpose of this assessment was to underpin our skills as nursing students to be able to perform crucial clinical assessments. Through this reflection, I have learned that I must work in an actionable course to improve my presence of mind and knowledge of the established codes to advance as a competent nurse in future. To improve my skills, I will work by development of SMART goals that will be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (Keyko et al., 2016). I will develop my skills by practising the clinical assessments and reading the relevant research material (Kim et al., 2016). I will also take guidance from my seniors and facilitators to help me apply the learned code of conduct and procedures for clinical assessments (Keyko et al., 2016).I will focus on experiential learning where I will train myself to participate in the various clinical environments to ensure that I am able to apply my learned skills and observe my seniors who perform clinical assessments (Murshed et al., 2019). I will also ensure that I a keep track and record of my improvements to identify my lacuna and work on them to advance as a competent nurse in future.
Keyko, K., Cummings, G. G., Yonge, O., & Wong, C. A. (2016). Work engagement in professional nursing practice: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 61, 142-164. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748916300736
Kim, J., Park, J. H., & Kim, K. H. (2016). Review of research topics on abdominal examination. The Journal of Korean Medicine, 37(3), 1-12. https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201608366220742.page
Loloi, J., Patel, A., & Riley III, T. (2018). Do physical exam and ultrasound liver size findings correlate? Teaching the abdominal examination through reflective practice: 936. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 113, S523-S524. https://journals.lww.com/ajg/Fulltext/2018/10001/Do_Physical_Exam_and_Ultrasound_Liver_Size.936.aspx
Murshed, A. S., Consultant General, G. I., & Board, J. (2019). Abdominal Examination. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 61, 142-164. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748916300736
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