Nursing and Reflective Practice

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“Reflection is not just a thoughtful practice, but a learning experience”. (Jarvis 1992)

This is a reflection on an incident that occurred during a shift on the labour ward. I have chosen Gibbs model of reflection (1988) to guide my reflective process. (Gibbs 1998) (Appendix I). Gibbs model (1998) goes through six important points to aid the reflective process, including description of incident, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and finally action plan. The advantage of Gibbs’s six-stage model is that it allows you to learn from experiences and make changes for your future practice.


The incident involves the administration of a wrong opiate drug to a postnatal patient. The incident occurred whilst checking and
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The NMC also publish the appropriate guidelines for nurses on the administration of medicines (NMC 2004).

The Standards for Medicine Management (NMC 2010) states that I am “accountable for your actions and omissions”. This incident has highlighted the need for vigilance at all times. Rule 7 of the Midwives Rules and Standards (NMC2004), states that “A practising midwife shall only supply and administer those medicines, including analgesics, in respect of which she has received appropriate training as to us, dosage and method of administration”. Although the local policy and procedures were followed, it seems that unintentionally the incorrect drug was administered. As a registered midwife I am up to date with all training, I have never before in my practice made a drug error. Research studies demonstrate that many drug errors within clinical practice occur as a result of distractions on the ward, illegible writing or because nurses failed to check the patient 's name-band (Gladstone 1996). The incident discussed demonstrates how easily practitioners can become distracted when checking and administrating drugs.

With regard to reporting drug errors, (Webster and Anderson 2002) found that several areas of concern emerged, including nurses ' confusion regarding the definition of drug errors and the appropriate actions to take when they occurred. Nurses also reported their fear of disciplinary action and the loss of their clinical
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