Essay on Critical Reflection

Published: 2021/11/08
Number of words: 1781


A critical reflection is an essential approach for one to assess their ability and plans for the future. For professionals, a critical reflection helps one to learn from experience with a view of bettering their expertise in the practice. Incidents that happen in life can require one to reflect on them for clarity and learning. Learning from experience helps one develop principles that promote their professionalism within their area of practice (Coleman and Willis, 2015). In essence, a reflection tries to make sense of an incident or event that happened in one’s life. In this report, the paper seeks to apply a reflective model of learning to analyze an incident that occurred in my life. The Gibbs model of reflection will be used to evaluate and investigate the incident that is within the practice context (Truong, Gibbs, Paradies and Priest, 2017). The paper focuses on reflecting on an incident that happened and what can be learnt from the same.

The Gibbs Model

Description of Incident

During my first placement in the second year, I experienced something unusual that hit me hard in my mind. A patient who could often complain of abdominal pains collapsed in the middle of the room. I was busy helping with tea when I heard a nurse calling for help from doctors. I became concerned and immediately went to check out what was happening. A woman patient in the ward had collapsed off her seat and died in the middle of the room. Earlier, she had complained of severe abdominal pain, but nobody took her seriously, for she was suffering from dementia. Doctors tried hard to assess her situation in a bid to help her all in vain. I was not the one in charge of the patient, but I was informed that her attempts to raise the alarm had failed as no one took her seriously. I did not find out the exact reason for her death, though the doctor’s report indicated that it was pain-related. The dementia factor in the patient was probably the reason why other n8urses never took her serious. The incident made me as I usually feel obliged to help patients heal from various ailments. The death could have been avoided if the nurse in charge had considered the matter seriously (Jasemi, Valizadeh, Zamanzadeh and Keogh, 2017). It made me reflect on my role as a nurse and how should I help people who are in the process of recovering. The incident served as a landmark experience that made me develop a strong passion for my profession.

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I felt that the nurses in charge had failed in their mandate to execute their role as a healthcare practitioner. Once a patient is in pain, it is only proper that they are accorded the right attention in a bid to help them heal faster. In my opinion, one should become a practitioner in the area after developing an interest in the area. Before the experience, I always assumed nurses within the area have an obligation of handling their patients in the right manner. Professionally, I thought that nurses should be compassionate to their ailing patients. The incidence proved to me that some individuals join the profession for the wrong reasons, which affects the delivery of services. During the experience, I thought that I should rush and help, only to realize that the patient was no more (Sekse, Hunskår and Ellingsen, 2018). For once, it crossed my mind that some deaths within practice settings can be avoided if patients are allocated the right care.

My first reaction was to rush and see the happenings with a view of lending a helping hand. Equally, I felt that it is our role as nurses to be of help, especially when such incidences happen. In as such as one might not be in charge of a particular patient, they should not fail to help others within the practice setting. During the incident, I helped measure her blood sugar levels to ascertain whether she was okay. Throughout, I stayed on standby to provide any assistance if need be. After the experience, I thought that action would be taken for those nurses who were showing a bad example and were not taking their roles seriously. Authorities and other practitioners should be at the forefront of identifying issues with patients for better handling (Sekse, Hunskår and Ellingsen, 2018). The experience changed my perception of what the profession is and what can be done to help patients.


The incidence went well with the execution of essential roles in an attempt to save the patient’s life. The doctors present and other practitioners thanked those who showed compassion, which boosted the passion for working hard and providing more support to those in need (Sekse, Hunskår and Ellingsen, 2018). The nurses present helped in testing sugar levels of the patient and availed themselves for any further assistance. Any practitioner needs to help, not only when told to, but also when the need is required. Some nurses fail in delivering holistic care for patients assigned to them. As such, it was essential for anybody within to provide any assistance. However, the fact the patient died eventually allowed sadness to fill the room. As a bitter part of the story, guilt engulfed everyone in the room since attempts to save the patient had failed (Colley, 2016). A critical evaluation of the incidence indicates that proper care and help could have prevented death. Patients should be treated with care in a bid to help them recover from various ailments.


A practitioner professionally trained should not watch a patient dying because they are not in charge. Such actions are detrimental to the provision of holistic care to patients within a healthcare setting. Nurses should be at the forefront of defending their patients in case anything happens. The incident indicates how uncaring some practitioners are to basics that they should perform. For instance, a patient suffering from dementia experiences pain, but there is no need for a practitioner to ignore (Fitch, Fliedner and O’Connor, 2015). Practitioners should ensure that they handle patients with care, especially those suffering from chronic diseases. The pain that they go through requires one to be compassionate. If one cannot be able to provide such help, then they should not think of becoming practitioners.

It is also proper to assess the consequences of action from the incident that happened. The patient had complained of severe abdominal pain, which was ignored by those near her. If one could have assessed her and give a report of her state, then probably she could not have succumbed. As such, the fact that healthcare practitioners ignored her is a significant reason that led to her death. Equally, dementia patients should be handled with care to avoid complicating their case anyhow (Cooper and Chang, 2016). Failure of the nurse in charge to discharge her roles professionally is also a reason that led to the death. The nurse should have considered the matter seriously or at least ensure the patient gets some painkillers for the same.

Death hurts those close to one and practitioners should work in their capacity to help avoid some case. Patients should be assessed from time to time to ensure that they are in a stable condition health-wise Truong, Gibbs, Paradies and Priest, 2017). Failure to conduct such assessments can lead to unexpected deaths. Employing a high level of ethical standards within the practice setting can prove helpful in avoiding such circumstances.


The experience taught me to be compassionate and handle any cases notable among patients seriously. If I had the opportunity, I could have helped the patient instead of leaving her die. The fact that I was not assigned to be in charge of the particular patient mad me scare off in the first place. Positively, some practitioners are caring and can do anything to save the lives of patients. However, I noted that some are cruel and insensitive to complaints raised by patients. Insensitivity to matters that affect patients can end up being costly as I noted from the incident. I learnt that there was more that I needed to become a fully equipped as a practitioner. The experienced helped me reflect on my goals and how I can achieve them. To me, I needed to go through that to ascertain some facts within the profession.

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Action Plan

To fully understand the profession, I need more exposure to patients who are suffering from various diseases. The exposure can help me to learn important basics on how to handle various patients. I did well during the experience, and there is a need to improve so that I can be of more help in the future. Further learning is important, and experience would help a great deal if I have to be better.


To sum it up, the reflection helped better my experience within the practice setting. The Gibbs model was useful in assessing the experience, which proved a significant step in my life. The model is easy to apply as it entails six significant steps. Through the application of the Gibbs model, I have been able to learn essential aspects that are useful in my area of practice. Reflective learning models should be applied more often to help many understand and learn from past experiences within the practice setting.


Coleman, D. and Willis, D.S., 2015. Reflective writing: the student nurse’s perspective on reflective writing and poetry writing. Nurse education today35(7), pp.906-911.

Colley, S.L., 2016. Senior nursing students’ perceptions of caring for patients at the end of life. Journal of Nursing Education55(5), pp.279-283.

Cooper, K.L. and Chang, E., 2016. Undergraduate nurse students’ perspectives of spiritual care education in an Australian context. Nurse education today44, pp.74-78.

Fitch, M.I., Fliedner, M.C. and O’Connor, M., 2015. Nursing perspectives on palliative care 2015. Annals of palliative medicine4(3), pp.150-155.

Jasemi, M., Valizadeh, L., Zamanzadeh, V. and Keogh, B., 2017. A Concept analysis of holistic care by hybrid model. Indian journal of palliative care23(1), p.71.

Sekse, R.J.T., Hunskår, I. and Ellingsen, S., 2018. The nurse’s role in palliative care: A qualitative meta‐synthesis. Journal of clinical nursing27(1-2), pp.e21-e38.

Truong, M., Gibbs, L., Paradies, Y. and Priest, N., 2017. ” Just treat everybody with respect”: Health Service Providers’ Perspectives on the Role of Cultural Competence in Community Health Service Provision. ABNF Journal28(2).

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