Essay on Reflection on a Critical Incident

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The reason for this essay is to reflect on a critical incident experience during my six week placement as a student nurse on an orthopedic ward. To explore an event as a critical incident is a value judgment, and the basis of that judgment is the significance attached to the meaning of the incident. Critical incidents are created or produced by the way we look at a situation. Tripp (1993)

The incident chosen has made an impact on me due to the fact the side effects of surgery can be very critical to a patient’s life, as would be demonstrated in the critical incident chosen (D.V.T). Deep vein thrombosis.

There are various reflective models written by various theorists and they include: Atkins and Murphy (1994), Stephenson (1993),
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“One may also reflect on practice while one is on the midst of it. This process involves both reflections in action and reflection in practice (Johns 2000). Schon states that reflection in action consists of on the spot surfacing, criticizing, restructuring and testing of intuitive understanding of experience phenomenon (Schon 1983) P.241.

“Reflective learning involves assessment and re-assessment of assumptions and critical reflective occurs whenever underlying premises are being questioned”.(Williams 2001) P.29.

In choosing Gibbs reflective model it would be illustrated in the six headings which guide me through my reflective process. These headings include:

(1.) Description – what happened?

(2.) Feelings – what were you feeling?

(3.) Evaluation – what was good or bad about the experience?

(4.) Analysis – what sense can be made of the situation?

(5.) Conclusion – what else could you have done?

(6.) Action plan – if the situation arises again what would you do?


This critical incident took place during my first six-week placement on the ward (Eleanor east). My rationale for this critical incident is because of the impact it had on me. I did not know that the side effects of hip replacement surgery could result in DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which could be very critical physically and mentally.

To protect patient confidentiality the
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