This is a reflective essay based on my experiences whilst on my six week medical placement on a haematology ward at a local hospital. The aim of this essay is to discuss the psychological and sociological impact on the family when a loved one dies, and then focus on how the nurse supported the husband and relatives through their loss. I chose this particular incident as I felt very strongly about the care given to this patient shortly before her death, and felt the need to reflect on it further.
In order to help me with my reflection I have chosen Gibbs (1988), as the model to help guide my reflective process (see appendix 1). This model comprises of a process that helps the individual look at a situation and think about their thoughts and feelings at the time of the incident. Reflective skills help us to think about what could have been done, so that if a similar situation occurs again the experience gained can be used to deal with the situation in a professional manner (Palmer et al 1997).
To enable me to use this situation for my reflection the patient will be referred to as "Ann". This is in order that her real name is protected and that confidentially maintained in line with the NMC (2002) Code of Professional Conduct.
Ann was a 58 year old lady married to a very loving husband, she had been previously diagnosed with multiple myeloma with secondary renal impairment, and had been receiving cycles of chemotherapy. My mentor and I were looking after Ann on the day concerned, her observations were within the normal limits but she continued to complain of shortness of breath. She became very anxious and I could tell by the look in her eyes...