Reflective essay on personal and professional development

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This article is a reflective essay on personal and professional development. Study it to gain insights that you can adopt when writing essays on the development of self and profession.

Introduction to Reflective Essay on Personal and Professional Development

This project is a critical examination and reflection of my practice’s continuous professional and personal development (CPPD) requirements. This report will highlight practical requirements that I need to address with the use of evidence-based research, as well as assess the influence of these needs on my personal growth as a prospective certified nurse. When dealing with a staff nurse during admission, I had a learning need for boldness in communicating.

Gibbs (1988) framework model of reflection will be utilized to satisfy the requirement and show my capacity to participate in progressing my treatment. To safeguard the privacy of the patient, a pseudonym Tommy will be used, as recommended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2008). In addition, I will follow the recommendations for post-registration education and practice (PREP) (NMC 2011) to keep my knowledge and abilities up to date while also encouraging lifelong learning in my nursing profession (NMC 2012).

Reflection on Personal and Professional Development of Assertiveness

What is an example of a reflective essay on the personal and professional development of assertiveness in clinical practice?

My communication abilities have increased in all interactions, and this has been noted in every practice. However, I was reminded of this learning requirement when I realized that one of my communication weaknesses was assertiveness while dealing with a staff nurse on a challenging patient during admission. Assertiveness is a positive communication style. It’s the capacity to stand out for ourselves in an open, courteous manner. During my hospital placement in November of 2014, I participated in this learning exercise.

During my second week of placement, I was able to identify this requirement since I was able to complete patient admissions under the supervision of my mentor. My mentor’s input confirmed the need to strengthen this talent, and I agreed that it needed to be cultivated in order to help me avoid mistakes in future practice, improve my decision-making abilities, and increase my professional happiness.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time researching and critically analyzing this learning need. However, as stated by Webb (2011) and reinforced by the Department of Health’s (2013) continual process of development in the NHS to be more efficient and less bureaucratic, I believe this might be an ongoing process of progress. I believed it was necessary to work on this again since it affected the patient and myself as a future certified nurse (Fowler, 2008).

Tommy is a 50-year-old man who has cellulitis in his right leg and lives alone with his cat. Due to the perception that the circumstance was beyond my comfort zone, I found it difficult to portray myself as a self-assured, aggressive, and compassionate student nurse during my first encounter with Tommy. I had seen this gentleman’s inability to cope from the start of the visit, but I didn’t want to make a straight comment for fear of coming off as patronizing or a domineering student nurse. On the plus side, I opted to develop this learning need so that in future assignments, I would be equipped with the information and abilities I would need to manage difficult patient care (Fowler, 2008).

Patients who have refused requests from other student nurses and staff nurses by expressing dislikes, disagreements, and even anger when offered treatment have taught me that patients notice how student nurses present themselves and may base their decision on the student nurses’ assertive communication skills (Fowler, 2008). This made me reflect on my self-awareness and empathy abilities. As I listened to Tommy’s emotional worries, he revealed that he was afraid of not being able to feed his cat while he was in the hospital since he had no close relatives. I reacted calmly and confidently, stating unequivocally that my goal was to secure his authorization to enable health experts to provide him with long-term assistance (Fischhoff et al, 2011).

Our major responsibility as student nurses is to deal with patients, and various researchers have shown that student nurses lack assertive abilities, as demonstrated by Bekkum and Hilton (2013) and McCabe and Timmins (2005) qualitative investigations in two schools (n=30). It was discovered that the majority of student nurses were assertive, but they preferred not to show it in order to preserve strong interpersonal relationships and avoid confrontation.

However, according to a quantitative research (n=72) by Almost (2006), it is critical to assess nursing students’ assertiveness before, and at the end of, their pre-registration program, and to provide assistance during the program to help them improve assertiveness. Almost little consideration was given to the conflicts that arise primarily as a consequence of student nurses’ multi-professional tasks, as well as the fact that the core nursing functions of caring and managing may cause stress.

Many academics have questioned these claims, like Iglesias and Vallejo (2012), who found that conflict resolution approaches may be reached via compromise and cooperation, which nurses can apply to their individual work situations. All of the previously described ways, however, had severe flaws, as Page’s (2004) qualitative research found that nurses’ failure to speak out or be heard might have jeopardized Tommy’s safety. I found Almost (2013) to be very useful for providing personal care since it would have aided my learning needs earlier in my nursing school, allowing me to provide better patient care.

Bekkum and Hilton’s (2013) qualitative research support and recognition of these account results show that educational activities should be considered. Instead of aiming to modify student nurses’ beliefs or concentrating simply on particular assertive behaviours to develop student emotional intelligence, the emphasis should be on improving participants’ views of the costs associated with not being forceful. Based on the data, I realized that my practice was outdated, which would cost the NHS money and have a bad influence on patient care.

According to Smith’s (2012) phenomenological research, while working alongside competent nurses, 75% (n=20) of student nurses felt unable to openly convey their concerns. Despite this, Jones’ (2013) qualitative research found that towards the conclusion of their training, 60% (n=30) of student nurses felt secure. However, there is little agreement in the current literature, however, I believe my experience mirrors Smith’s (2013) results. Working with an experienced certified nurse hampered my capacity to be forceful during patient admission, and hiding behind my mentor limited my skill growth. Failure to be an aggressive student nurse negatively influenced my clinical abilities. It also demonstrates that in these research investigations, I was not following best practices.

In a phenomenological research conducted by White (2009), it was shown that 75% (n=28) of nursing students in clinical placements experience self-doubt, concern about their clinical performance, and lack the traits of high self-confidence. According to Jones, Mccoy, and Pitt (2013), the majority of student and staff interactions demonstrate the need for a feeling of belonging for student nurses in order to have a positive clinical experience. Before students could learn, they needed to feel like they belonged and were a member of the team. Lathlean and Levett-Jones’ (2009) quantitative analysis (n=200) of student results on third-year student nurses who participated in the survey because they had been on many clinical assignments reflects this.

However, this argument seems to ignore the reality that many students felt obligated to work hard in order to fit in with the nursing team, rather than being driven to learn. This has helped me realize that, while being part of an excellent nursing team, I would still prioritize patient care by paying more attention to their needs and expectations. According to a qualitative research done by Lyndon (2006), patient scenario, resource availability, and interpersonal interactions may all impact student nurses’ capacity to make clinical decisions.

However, as Ganske, Iseminger, Lachman, and Murray (2012) discovered in their phenomenological investigation, student nurses may suffer moral anguish in a number of scenarios. These two studies indicated that the capacity to speak with patients should not be a source of moral discomfort since student nurses would not be pushy or patronizing, and the conversation would benefit the patient.

This is supported by Grumbach and Bodenheimer’s (2004) qualitative research, which identified (n=18) student nurses and found that increased disability may be caused by worry and a lack of self-confidence in certain circumstances. However, according to Begley (2010)’s phenomenological research (n=20), nothing has been done to explain why assertive behaviour happens in one context but not in another.

The findings show that traditional measures of assertiveness and anxiety in student nurses are unaffected by their p=00.1 odds. When making a choice on how to act, one should consider the consequences of pushy student practitioners. This was useful in reminding me how crucial it is to have self-confidence in order to provide better patient care. Despite the fact that their basic theories of subjectivity are very different, there are some significant affinities between the studies that correlate, which I feel will aid me in providing better care in future placements.

Furthermore, Begley’s qualitative research (2010) proved that patients should be treated as partners in their health care delivery. People find it difficult to trust others, and I’ve learned from previous experiences that patients must be engaged and actively involved in the planning and assessment of their treatment. By learning to ask open questions, I was able to encourage and support patient expression, as well as increase trust in a relationship by demonstrating my interest and engagement in the patient’s care and treatment. This research helped me satisfy a need I had and taught me how to be forceful while dealing with tough patients.

According to a qualitative research by White (2014), the majority of student nurses rely on their mentors to be aggressive, and they occasionally use it as a coping strategy. Despite the fact that there are only 30 student nurses to assess (n=30), the data is statistically significant and gives insight into practical experiences. This study was also important to me in terms of improving my assertiveness since it affected the patient and myself as a future certified nurse. For assertiveness as a coping method, I entirely relied on my mentors.

These bad coping techniques I used, on the other hand, were emphasized in a qualitative research by Fischhoff et al, (2011), which looked at the prevalent coping mechanisms used by student nurses who were aggressive in clinical settings. Although the sample size (n=18) is small and the data is not statistically significant, the qualitative methodology gives insight into the student nurses’ experiences with assertiveness coping mechanisms (Parahoo, 2006).

These theme critical analysis findings were connected to my personal clinical experience, especially the bad coping assertiveness style I used. This was owing to my initial underestimation of my ability to be self-assured and self-confident without being confrontational (REF). These studies revealed to me how unethical and limiting avoidance behaviours are when interacting with patients, as shown by a tiny number of volunteers (n=3) in this study (Morris & Turnball, 2006). This reminded me of how crucial assertiveness skills are in improving patient care (Morris & Turnbull, 2006).

Furthermore, according to Fischhoff et al. (2011), assertiveness in student nurses who become attached to their mentors remains as consistent helpers for weeks in their placement from the first to the third year, and it is suggested that this is due to the students underestimating their capacity from the beginning of being self-assured. Despite the modest survey size (n=207), which provides statistically significant relevant data, 60% (n=127) of respondents were more positive than 40% (n=83). Its quantitative approach provides insight into the assertiveness skills experience of student nurses (Begley, 2010).

Nonetheless, the phenomenological research of Phillips and Simmonds (2012) confirmed this descriptive study and said that this is a major problem for some student nurses in practical settings. As student nurses, they will be able to recognize that the patient’s aggression may be related to anything other than their treatment if they comprehend the notion of assertiveness and understanding. Monsu (2014) found that increased disability may be caused by worry and a lack of self-confidence while dealing with a challenging patient in a phenomenological research of (n=50) nursing students in London. The findings of these studies are not intended to be generalized, but I found them to be trustworthy owing to the suitability of the methodology and the accurate application of the theme analysis. This will help me better care for my patients in the future.

Smith (2013) found that 70% (n=49) of university students wanted mentors to perform all assertiveness communication for them owing to underestimating their abilities in a questionnaire study of (n=200) student nurses in London. Only 20% of students (n=4) replied, and many of those did not complete the questionnaire completely. According to the research, 70% of students who desired a mentor to handle all assertive communication aren’t providing very compelling proof. Yet, according to Monsu (2013), from his own experience as a student on placement, there was a strong bond with mentors who were aggressive in all of his/her communications, which aided in the development of assertiveness abilities for future practice.

This cannot be generalised since Monsu (2013) is talking to his personal experience rather than empirical study. I considered Monsu’s (2013) personal experience argument to be highly relevant to me, and it topped my hierarchy of evidence, but it does not seem to have been well investigated to aid my future patient care owing to their absence of a soundly-based qualitative theory compared to Smith’s (2013).

After discussing what transpired during the admission with my mentor, I felt good about trying to communicate with the patient and recognizing some of his needs. Despite the patient’s reluctance, I maintained my composure, however, I struggled with my approach when I talked with him about providing further assistance. Instead, I concentrated on assisting the customer in responding to my inquiries and identifying his issues. I feel I acted assertively throughout the encounter because I kept my responsibility of care to the patient in mind. If I failed to be the patient’s advocate, I realized it would have an impact on my clinical abilities.

My actions prompted me to reconsider my practice in light of the Department of Health’s (2009) revised work on offering recommendations on consent to treatment and putting these principles of consent into practice. Tommy was well aware that he needed to follow the nurse’s instructions since she knew what would happen if his aches were not addressed (Cole, 2012). The interaction between decision-making, skill development opportunities, social support, and identity that comes with the nursing role, according to Baldwin, Duffield, Fry, and Merrick (2011), comes with the nursing role in order to be prepared for the upcoming nurse population to meet new challenges.

Reflective essay on personal and professional development
Development

If a circumstance like this arises again, I feel I will be able to demonstrate my assertiveness skills by compromising and understanding my actions’ bounds. I can demonstrate that I am a self-assured, reliable, and trustworthy student nurse by using clinical decision skills and asking open questions, which I can gain from meeting other patients. I need to work on developing leadership abilities that may be necessary for patient satisfaction, and in order to do so, I’ve learned to participate in leadership activities like handovers and completing duties on behalf of my mentor. I realized that once I was comfortable in the clinical setting, I needed to be more actively engaged in difficult clinical scenarios like spotting unpredictably deteriorating patients and learning to make rapid clinical judgments.

According to Cook and Leathard (2004), strong student nursing leadership and high-quality nursing care may be achieved if nurses participate in leadership training programs early in their careers. This will aid me in being more conscious of how I feel, think, and behave in front of my patients. Reflecting and learning to be assertive will boost my confidence and self-esteem by recognizing what I’ve done well and maturely, as well as embracing the changes I’ll need to make in the future to become a better nurse.

Having said that, I was pleased to have the chance to practice nursing handover, since it is one of the most important tasks of a licensed nurse and one part of nursing care that I would be expected to do once I am certified. Handovers, according to Loseby, Hudson, and Lyon (2013), are “knowledge that might alter the delivery of care.” Throughout this learning experience, I felt well supported by my mentor, who provided me with numerous opportunities to practice my handover until I felt more confident and less anxious because she provided me with quality time and necessary feedback that aided my learning needs as well as other aspects of nursing.

A mentor, according to McCloughen, O’Brien, and Jackson (2010), is someone who helps others develop by educating, encouraging, and caring about their achievement. Hamric, B.A., Hanson, M.C., Tracy, F.M., and O’Grady, T.E., (2013) stated that a good mentor is one who spends quality time to foster growth, is committed to the development of their learning needs, and is willing to share and feedback on any rough patches in their career development.

Finally, I’ve critically examined and reflected on clinical learning requirements, which are critical to my professional development. Critical analysis and reflection helped me as a student to achieve good learning outcomes by allowing me to relate and apply concepts to clinical situations, as well as explore and evaluate evidence. My clinical learning needs were also recognized via mentor comments when I demonstrated forceful communication skills with tough patients. For me, developing this need is a continuous process.

Reflective essay on personal and professional development
Nurses assessing their personal and professional development

However, I realized that attempting patient interactions and collaborating with nursing staff would aid in my development as a more confident nurse. At this point in my development, participating in and engaging in leadership activities such as handovers and work delegation would be good. I could only go ahead and continue to enhance my learning proficiency as a student nurse toward professional competence as a certified nurse by reflecting on and recognizing these learning requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness is a positive communication style. It’s the capacity to stand out for ourselves in an open, courteous manner.

2. Why is reflection important in clinical practice?

Critical analysis and reflection helped me as a student to achieve good learning outcomes by allowing me to relate and apply concepts to clinical situations, as well as explore and evaluate evidence.

3. Who is called a mentor?

A mentor, according to McCloughen, O’Brien, and Jackson (2010), is someone who helps others develop by educating, encouraging, and caring about their achievement. Hamric, B.A., Hanson, M.C., Tracy, F.M., and O’Grady, T.E., (2013) stated that a good mentor is one who spends quality time to foster growth, is committed to the development of their learning needs, and is willing to share and feedback on any rough patches in their career development.

4. How can nurses develop leadership skills?

According to Cook and Leathard (2004), strong student nursing leadership and high-quality nursing care may be achieved if nurses participate in leadership training programs early in their careers.

 

Reflective essay on personal and professional development

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