Reflection on a critical incident
Critical incidents are snapshots of something that happens to a patient, their family or nurse. It may be something positive, or it could be a situation where someone has suffered in some way (Rich & Parker 2001). Reflection and analysis of critical incidents is widely regarded as a valuable learning tool for nurses. The practice requires us to explore our actions and feelings and examine evidence-based literature, thus bridging the gap between theory and practice (Bailey 1995). It also affords us the opportunity of changing our way of thinking or practicing, for when we reflect on an incident we can learn valuable lessons from what did and did not work. In this way we develop self-awareness and skills in critical thinking and problem solving (Rich & Parker 2001). The central aim of the following discussion is to explore and analyse an incident that occurred while attending a clinical placement at a hospital in rural New South Wales. To begin, the incident will be briefly described and the people involved introduced (The names of the people involved have been changed to protect their privacy). A wide range of literature will then be drawn upon in examining how this particular incident reflects specific Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council 'National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse' (ANMC competencies). The outcome and implications for the writers' nursing practice will complete this reflection.