Nursing as a profession caters widely for the human needs to see their health stable at all costs. The needs may vary from physical needs to emotional needs. Registered nurses have an obligation to serve the people with relation to specified nursing standards set by relevant nursing bodies. All health professionals’ work together to achieve the objectives and meet the standards that define their profession. The standards set by the nursing bodies ensure that the health practitioners meet the bare minimums to the care and wellbeing of the people. The profession also goes beyond the knowledge attained in their learning institutions (Burrell, 2014).
Most of the times during the practice of the nursing profession, analysis and critical thinking is employed to give out informed decisions. Since the profession deals with the lives of individuals, great skill, knowledge and soberness in thinking are key factors looked at before one is licensed as a nurse (Lu & Kitt-Lewis, 2018). This paper is a reflection of nursing as a profession and the clinical experiences involved in relation to the standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
The Nursing Board and Midwifery Board of Australia have set some standard measures to be followed during the nursing practice. Some of the standards are as outlined:
i. Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice
A registered nurse is expected to comply and practice the profession in accordance with local policies and relevant legislation. This includes arriving fit to work, implementing safety procedures outlined, maintaining the confidentiality of the patients or clients and keeping professional boundaries with the clients (Garrity, 2016). Nurses also ought to maintain high ethical standards which guide towards making informed decisions that are critical to the profession. They should perform adequate research and critically evaluate situations thereafter accurately documenting their findings for future reference.
ii. Maintains capability for practice
Nurses should demonstrate the capability of using the knowledge learnt to the relevant practical needs (Jobes & Duncan, 2019). The motive of a practitioner should always be in improving skills learnt and finding ways of dealing with situations that may require their course knowledge or their thinking. Developing inside this profession also includes sharing relevant knowledge, skill and experience gained from the clinical practice. Nurses should also demonstrate skills in health education that would help clients in making better health decisions (Volkert, 2018).
During my internship, I have had an opportunity to participate in the treatment, preliminary measurements and taking care of patients, but I had not yet come across a drug addict who was seeking for medical help. The client looked like he was in a good state physically, but he was suffering stomach pains at the moment he came to me. At the first complaint I received was of painful stomach pains so before making any decisions I had to interview him for a while to ascertain the cause of the pain. Upon interviewing him, I found out that he was really a heavy drinker and therefore I had to recommend him for further laboratory tests.
The tests showed that his liver was wasting away and so with the help of the Registered Nurse I was working with, I prescribed him some medicines to relieve him from that pain and assist in the healing of the liver. I then sat with him for a professional advice on things he could do to help him overcome the drinking problem. During the talk, the client opened up and told me about the family disputes he had that were part of his cause of being an alcohol addict. We talked at length where I counselled him and gave him a plan that would help solve his family disputes at home and hence overcome the alcohol addiction.
Since this has been my first ever alcoholic case to handle, I was skeptical about the idea of handling him. I had thought of referring him to other professional doctors since I was just an intern, but later I gained confidence since this was still part of the skills and knowledge I had learnt during my course work. The Registered Nurse I was working with played a key role in shaping my confidence since most of the operations we did together I learnt a lot. The analysis of the situation also felt easy for the client explained with clarity his situation. I was able to make decisions and judgements that I have never done before in my career which turned out positive. The patient left the hospital having been satisfied both physically and emotionally.
My confidence in handling such cases had improved right after that experience. The Registered Nurse who I occasionally consulted encouraged me to start making decisions alone using the professional knowledge and guidelines that I learnt. I demonstrated competence in my career since I was able to handle the case to the satisfaction of the client. My skills and experience in counselling also developed with this experience I got. During handling of the client, professional relationship was demonstrated and hence the ethics required were demonstrated from the experience. However, the initial feeling of being skeptical about handling the issue was a failure as a health practitioner to but nevertheless I overcame it and the experience was a success.
Alcohol effects usually experienced are adverse and often result to severe health and social problems in the society. Nursing therefore deals too with counselling the patients alongside administering the relevant medicine. In doing this, the confidentiality of the patient information should be highly regarded and relevant information accurately recorded as the client’s medical history for future use (Garg & Kaur, 2017). It is the work of nurses to ensure that the patients affected are helped out of the alcohol problem and cautioned against their adverse effects. In a case where the effects have already caused an emotional disorder, nurses are required to provide counsel and treatment action plan to help the clients. The demonstration of career competence is therefore necessary because nurses are expected to use the knowledge acquired and critical analysis in making decisions that affect the lives of their patients.
Experiences as such come into one’s career to build up the knowledge learnt during course training. Student nurses often participate in such experiences in order to learn more pertaining the nursing profession, but most do not like taking part in decision making during critical times. This affects greatly the learning experiences since they do not build up the confidence to be able to handle efficiently similar or situations that are more complex than this one. Instructors and Registered Nurses should encourage the student nurses to actively take part in the critical decision making because it forms part of their career.
Looking back on the experience discussed in this reflection assignment, in realizing that there is more practice that needs to be undertaken in various sectors in the field. The professional practice guidelines bring the cohesion and standardization that aim at taking care of the clients’ needs. Nursing profession deals with human life and hence a good practitioner ought to follow the guidelines and save lives. Career is built from the experiences and challenges one faces and the decisions, thereby made towards the realization of successful experiences (Nanavaty, 2018). All experiences bring something to learn in either implementing the knowledge learnt or the professional practice guidelines as outlined by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (Garg & Kaur, 2017). The decisions I made during my clinical experience required critical analysis of the situation first which was also assisted by the Registered Nurse who was my instructor. Student nurses encountering similar experiences also ought to build their confidence by participating in making up critical decisions.
In my future plans, I have decided to try and overcome my fears so that I could face more critical issues with boldness that is required. I would keep on building my confidence through being involved in experiences such as the one I had and critically analyze the situations presented before making major decisions. This would form part of my professional ethics, practice and the use of my learnt knowledge in solving problems. I would also share the experiences with my fellow students to make their experiences lighter in case they encounter one similar to this. I would encourage the students to actively participate in the hospital practices as this builds their confidence in handling similar experiences.
Burrell, L. A. (2014). Integrating critical thinking strategies into nursing curricula. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 9(2), 53-58.
Garg, A., & Kaur, G. (2017). Importance of reflective thinking in nursing education. Baba Farid University Nursing Journal, 13(2), 1-2.
Garrity, M. K. (2016). Developing nursing leadership skills through reflective journaling: A nursing professor’s personal reflection. Reflective Practice, 14(1), 118-130.
Jobes, M. J., & Duncan, K. (2019). A Guided Reflection Activity on Sudden Death. Journal of Nursing Education, 58(5), 313-313.
Lu, H., & Kitt-Lewis, E. (2018). Pedagogical differences: A comparative reflection between American and Chinese nursing education.
Nanavaty, J. (2018). Using visual thinking strategies with nursing students to enhance nursing assessment skills: A qualitative design. Nurse education today, 62, 39-42.
Volkert, D. R. (2018). Building Reflection with Word Clouds for Online RN to BSN Students. Nursing education perspectives, 39(1), 53-54.
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