Assignment: Reflective Essay
Assignment: Reflective Essay
I encountered a challenging situation while still working at the geriatrics ward. There had been a flu outbreak that had kept most of the ward usual staff including the head nurse at home. I had very little experience working on my own in this particular ward. All I knew was that it was mandatory to keep checking on the patients frequently, as most of them had cognitive impairments and hence unable to use the nurse call button. I happened to walk into an old woman’s room, who seemed to be extremely distressed, but I was unable to come up with any intelligible reason as to why. I had the feeling that she was in pain, but I was not sure. Her face was red, extremely distresses, crying and urgently trying to talk to me, but she was unable to articulate any words. I was felt powerless.
According to Terry, Carr, and Curzio (2017), the four main domains of knowledge explained by Carper in her description of the patterns of knowing are empirics, esthetics, personal knowledge, and moral knowledge or ethics. I applied all the four domains in handling the situation with the extremely distressed patient. In this case scenario, the nursing issue was the urge to provide comprehensive care but yet unable to diagnose the health problem that leads to nursing distress. From the look of things, there were no drugs on the bedside table of the patient in the above scenario. She might have run out of drugs, since the nurse who was taking care of her, was not around, hence she did not get a refill. However, this is only an assumption but not a proven reason for the patient’s distress.
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The personal thoughts and feeling I had entailed the overwhelming urge to find out the cause of the patient’s extreme distress, and how to manage it, accompanied by the feeling of deep compassion and a perceived inadequacy with interpreting the needs of the
patient. I moved close to her, grabbed her hand, and made her feel like everything was going to be okay, in as much as I had no clue of what to do next. Ethically, I personally believe that it is the obligation of the nurse to make sure that the health of the patient usually comes first irrespective of the situation. It was thus my role to assess the patient symptoms and gather enough evidence in order to come up with a treatment plan (Blažun et al., 2017). An effective nurse must also make sure that the patient’s emotional and physical well being are upheld in the course of treatment.
From an experimental gesture, studies show that most nurses are faced with moral distress as a result of difficult care situations (Terry, Carr, & Curzio, 2017). Being helpless, with no one to consult, and unable to take care of a patient in pain is very stressful. A different study by Oh and Gastmans (2015) provided a list of different issues that can result to intense moral distress for nurses, and the main one was a nursing shortage, just like in the situation that I happened to encounter as described above.
In conclusion, the new insight that I gained from this reflection is the realization that the Carper’s Patterns of Knowing is applicable in all challenging nursing situations. It only takes looking at the matter from different facets to be able to come up with a compelling solution. The insight will help in enhancing my thinking ability especially when it comes to handling difficult nursing situations in the future.