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Reflection on Incident in Radiography Clinical Placement

Info: 2938 words (12 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 14th Dec 2020

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Tagged: radiography


This assignment will look at an experience during the clinical placement by focusing on the reflection model to demonstrate the effect of reflection on different clinical incidents that a radiographer might experience in the radiology department. The reflection can lead to get a deeper insight and understanding of events in the aim of gaining essential skills for the future.

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At the beginning of the assignment, it defines the semantic and conceptual meaning of reflection then looks at its advantage and disadvantage. In the next stage, a narrative review of learned experience in the clinical environment is described using Gibbs reflection model. The main purpose of reflection on the narrative incident would be learning and practising the different approaches to deal with pediatric patients. Finally, by using the critical thinking and reflection practice it will consider the weakness and strengths to improve them as a desirable future plan. At all stages of this essay, the confidentiality will be maintained and the concept of communication, consent, dignity and respect will be taken into consideration. (SOR, patient identification, confidentiality and consent 30 September2009)

What is reflection?

John Dewey introduced the concept of reflection for the first time in 1933 and several definitions have been provided for that so far. In a simple word, the reflection means to review and analysis of past experience and its consequences to learn more about the experience to achieve more favourable results in the future.

Basically, reflection is the assessing process of individual activity and ability to get brief feedback from the path he/she has travelled and found out how to travel the rest of the path and helps individual to reach the ideal goal. It includes the effect of something that appears in others or in the environment.

For example, a person wants to take a bus to get to school but he misses the bus, so arrives late at school. He definitely feels stressed and the incident makes him anxious. It is expected that he will think about why he was late in school so he assesses his activity. For the next day, he /she makes the decision to get up and go to the bus stop earlier to avoid missing the bus again for getting to school on time. It would be a simple example of reflection that every single person would go through every single day. Totally the main goal of all these reflections would be managing the future activity in a more appropriate way.

In other words, it is a cognitive process that occurs before, during and after the events in the aim of creating a deeper understanding of the situation so it is a self-regulation process that controls and evaluates the cognition process.

In health care practice reflection is a strategy that leads to integrating the theoretical knowledge and clinical practice by linking the previous experiences and current situation. In a reflection process personal experiences are considered as the most important factor in developing knowledge and strengthening clinical skills that might encounter a similar clinical situation in the future.

Reflective thinking plays an important role in daily basis radiographer activities. Once a radiographer is doing an activity, he or she must go through a thinking process to reflect on his activity either while the activity is being done or after it has finished.

Reflection impresses the thoughts, puts theory and practice alongside each other and strengthens self-regulation and motivational mechanisms. It avoids superficial learning and leads to a deep and meaningful understanding. It is a kind of critical thinking and finding truth in the form of self-evaluating to find the more desirable solution to manage plan with the goal of compensation of deficiencies.

In terms of reflection benefit for students, it combines the activities and thoughts to link them to each other therefore students would be able to digest the information properly and this will promote the process of encountering incidents. It is one of the key skills to learn from experience, self-assessment and self-supervision to retain competence.

Reflection can happen at any time and for any reason including improvement and development of knowledge, creating creativity and helping to overcome the assumptions that might make about others. Reflection on actions will be informed the individuals from beliefs, values, emotions, personality , strengths and weaknesses of their performance by deeper thinking about the experiences. For example, in medical practice, it is necessary to expand communication with the patients and is one of the areas that need to be considered by the health care professions to reflect on it regularly.

Essentially, using a reflective model is a way to challenge the assumption, to explore new ideas or new ways of doing something or thinking about experiences to recognise their strengths or weaknesses and ultimately it leads to the lifelong learning.

The component of a good reflection includes linking the past experiences to the present and future, considering the experience from different aspects and solutions for improving the process of reflection.

The type of reflection model used by different people depends on the individual’s point of view, therefore, the model that a person feels more comfortable with would be the most suitable and best model for that person.

How do we reflect :

Models of reflection are varied and each has a specific structure and technique that needs to be considered to follow the assumptions. To achieve outstanding consequence it is necessary to go through the steps continually and run them precisely.Most of the models are composed of a cycle or a list of question that the person who wants to reflect on his/her activity needs to follow those.

Gibbs model (1988) is one of the popular circular type models which consists of 6 reflection stages. In this assignment, Gibb’s model of reflection has been used. It considers the feelings and emotions surrounding the experiences.

According to the Gibbs model, the first part of the cycle is a purely descriptive part that needs to support by specific information and the short description of the experience or event.

The second part of the cycle refers to the emotions and feelings of the individual in regards to the experience. Basically, it is not analytical but is a descriptive part that describes the personal feeling, thoughts, action and reaction in prior to the experience, during the experience and after the experience.

Third part which is known as evaluation part is again not an analytical one but is about the quality of proceeding the experience whether it finished successfully or not. This part makes a positive or negative judgement about the experience and focuses on the good and bad or advantage and disadvantage aspects of the experience.

Forth part represents a comparative and analytical stage of reflection on experience which analyses what has been achieved during the experience in practice with whatever is in theory. This step tries to explain the causes and consequences of action during the event and indicates how the positive consequences could further improve or how can diminish the negative consequences.

Next stage which is known as conclusion part reconsiders the experience to find the different things that could have done in the situation. It represents the weaknesses and strengths of the practical experience and what have learned from the experience. This stage considers the gained experiences to find if the experience that is achieved meets the required criteria of competencies and learning goals. This aspect sums up all the specific things which are learned from the experience.

The last part of the Gibbs cycle would be called an action plan includes actions that could be done in order to be better prepared for the experience in future to cope with similar events. It considers the things that should be prioritised in the future to get a desirable outcome, for example, the action plan could be participating in some training.

Have good critical thinking can lead to an effective reflection practice. It means thinking from a different point of view and have a wide range of insight and being able to evaluate the events in detailed would be an important factor to reflect effectively. From another side of view identify the qualities, strengths and limitation of the daily activities and adopt appropriate changes to improve them can help to create an effective reflection.

Description of the incident:

An eighteen months boy has been referred to the radiology department accompanied by his mother and a nurse on a chair from the pediatric department for a chest x-ray examination. Based on the Clinical history he had 3 months regularly cough, fever, weight loss and whizzy chest and query(?) pneumonia.

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After washing my hand in terms of infection prevention on the arrival I found the baby who was in his mother’s arm looked really poor. It seemed that the little child was distressed by the new environment. I tried to make a contact with the patient and his mother by introducing myself as a student of the radiographer and the radiographer who supervised me. The poor baby was looking really strange with a kind of fear to the area and I found that he was largely reluctant to cooperate with us and scared.

Firstly I asked his mother to consent on his behalf to participate in the procedure and then check the patient detail to be the right patient. I explained to his mother what is going to do during the examination and asked the mother to put the baby on the bed then I put a big size pad foam and a big size image receptor behind the child on the bed.

It seemed that everything was going well so far, but as long as I moved the x-ray tube the baby started crying and screaming and moved from his position. It was a challenging case that I have not experienced it before and made me anxious and scared me as he could not stop crying.

We had some colourful books and toys in the department so one of the radiographers brought some for the little baby and put in front of him to calm him down then we left the baby and his mother for a while.He was entertained by toys and nearly his restlessness reduced.

After a while, we tried to proceed the procedure but as long as the mother left the kid he moved away from his position and tried to grab the x-ray tube. The radiographer asked the mom to wear a lead and stand near the baby to immobilise him and another radiographer wore another lead to grab the patient attention by her funny activity in front of him and keep him sitting unmovable in his seat.

Feeling :

At the beginning of the examination before starting the procedure I was quite anxious as it was my first experience to deal with the pediatric patient. I was completely covered in sweat but I tried not to show any concern on my face to avoid making the patient and his mother nervous. Also, on the arrival when I saw the poor little baby I became sad because of his condition but still wanted to do my best to help him during the procedure. Basically, in prior to the examination I did not think coping with this incident could be such a difficult.


I think in this incident one of the valuable skills that I learned was about proper communication with the pediatric patients especially I was impressed by the radiographer funny performance to distract boy from the x-ray tube to keep him immobilised. Although the incident was quite challenging and the patient was really difficult to cooperate we finally could proceed with the examination as best as we could.

From my point of view, the negative part of this incident that might scare the boy is related to my performance and ability to make a proper relationship with the little boy. The way that I moved the x-ray tube scared him so he started crying and the examination did not go well at the beginning but finally, the proper behaviour of radiographers in establishing a good relationship with the child advanced the examination well.


It seems that the patient’s distress was increased as a result of facing with the new environment and equipment so it was quite tough to cope with such an incident and environment.

The noisy equipment, uncomfortable and painful positioning during examination seems to be a frightening and stressful place for pediatric even though for his mom, therefore, it easily made them anxious. That’s why the pediatric patients tend not to cooperate when the parents leave them alone during the procedure so parents involvement and their presence during the procedure would be beneficial to reduce the pediatric stress and anxiety to proceed the examination successfully. For example, in this case, the radiographer advised the parent to participate in the examination by holding her child in a most comfortable position and guide him to cope with that.

Actually, the parents play an important role in immobilising their children during the procedure to achieve high image quality and avoid to repeat the examination and exposing the child more.

The parent anxiety could escalate the pediatric stress as well so explaining the process of examination for parents in prior to the examination such as what is going to do and how long does the procedure take could reduce their anxiety. The other important thing that the radiographer needs to be considered in prior to the examination is consent from the patient. It is necessary to get the patient permission to proceed the examination. I think personally in this case because the patient is a pediatric it is quite important to ask the parent if she agrees to do the examination on behalf of her child.

Reflective conclusion:

From my perspective, introducing yourself to the patient at the beginning of the examination is the first contact with the patient ,so to have a good relationship with the patient the first contact needs to be as much friendly as possible. Also, communication with pediatric patients is quite different from adult patients. It means that I have to communicate with them on their level.(patient care in radiography 9th edition,2017)

Action plan:

As far as I am concerned the experiences like this make me aware of my ability and limitation(strengths and weakness). For example, I learned how to make effective communication with the little child and his mother for the similar situation in the future as the effective communication between radiographers and patients would be vital in the health care environment in order to achieve an optimum quality of examination. For the future plan, I fully understand that each patient has different needs and definitely it was one of the most important outcomes of reflection on this incident for me so I will try to do my best for the future if I encountered this kind of situations.


One of the most significant aspects of working in the health care profession would be delivering a high quality of care and treatment to the patient. Radiographers as one group of the health care professionals need to deliver the best services to the patient within their responsibility therefore in this path they are expected to do their best to achieve the most excellent outcome. Although there are different barriers that can prevent radiographer from delivering desirable services to the patients they must try to deal with the obstacles in a proper way. To get the outstanding result they always require to reflect on their actions to improve their performance.Essentially, reflection is a tool that needs to be used extensively in health care profession and clinical practice by health care professionals such as radiographers and nurses in all daily basis activity to improve their skills and ability to assist the patients. (the college of radiographers, 1999).



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Radiography: specialisation in the use of radiographic, radiation therapy and magnetic resonance equipment to administer radiation treatment and produce images of body structures for the diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease.

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