"Reflection on Learning Experience during Clinical Placement" is a wonderful example of a paper on care. When I began my clinical placement, I had a mixture of emotions surging through my anxiety, excitement, fear, and uncertainty. It was thrilling to put things in perspective finally, as now I would carry out nursing duties and interact with patients. On the other hand, I was afraid that I would forget what I had learned in class that would result in my making a mistake during a procedure. I was not sure how I would deal with children especially as I am a sympathetic person who easily gets moved by tragic situations.
I could not imagine treating a child in pain and tears without also tearing up myself. Overall, the dominating emotion was excitement, as I would get to transfer theoretical learning into practical learning. Moreover, I would interact with experienced nurses whose guidance and mentorship I sought fervently. Intended to last for three months, the clinical placement at the surgical ward began on a positive note as I got a reality check. On the first day as we did rounds with the supervising nurse, we started out at the physiotherapy unit.
This is where patients who have suffered significant physical injuries come to recuperate and receive treatment while being monitored. I was assigned to care for patients that had recently undergone surgeries such as hip replacements, shoulder rotator cuffs, and total knee replacements. These are all surgeries that left the patients in considerable levels of pain making it hard to attend to their wounds. However, the supervising nurse advised us to always take a minute and compose ourselves than try as much as possible to separate our feelings from our work when attending to the patients. Among the first tasks, I witnessed being undertaken by an experienced nurse was physiotherapy with a patient who had recently undergone knee replacement surgery.
Standing up alone was an excruciating task for the patient yet the nurse had to insist on getting them to walk as it was necessary for proper recovery. From afar, one would think the nurse was being too harsh on the patient because of the immense pain they were experiencing.
However, the reality is they need to get better, and being tough on them is essential so that the healing and recovery process happens quickly and effectively. This relayed to me that it would be difficult but inevitable to have a tough stance that implies professionalism when carrying out my duties. Throughout the three months, I developed an appreciation for a good supervisor. This is because he or she acts as a mentor through the learning process where theory is applied to a practical situation.
Furthermore, one gets an idea of what to expect when dealing with different patients and how to efficiently deal with them. In addition, nursing is an undervalued profession in society; therefore, having the right supervisor enables one to learn how to survive in the work environment in instances when doctors look down on you. Nursing is characteristically an overwhelming profession due to reasons such as increased workload, staff shortages, hostility, and disrespect from colleagues in different professions and patients. This emphasizes the need for a professional nurse as a supervisor to help one in coping with such hurdles (Twentyman et al, 2006). Conversely, it is crucial that hospitals prepare nurses for their supervisory roles before clinical placement programs begin.
This will equip them with skills necessary to establish a mutually beneficial working relationship with the students, as they will be able to learn how to communicate effectively and enable the students to develop skills and explore their potential, with regards to the profession (Barnett, Abbey, and Eyre, 2011). At the end of my clinical placement, I could confidently say that I had become well equipped to effectively carrying out nursing duties and ways to get a fulfilling experience from the profession as a career choice.
Twentyman, M. et al. (2006) “Enhancing Support for Nursing Students in the Clinical Setting”. NursingTimes.net.. Retrieved 14 Feb. 2013 from http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/student-nurses/enhancing-support-for-nursing-students-in-the-clinical-setting/203296.article
Barnett K, Abbey J & Eyre J (2011) Bridging Education, Research and Clinical Care – the Teaching Nursing Home: Discussion Paper. Australian Institute for Social Research, The University of Adelaide.