Foundations for Professional Practice

Nurses are expected to balance out the quality of care by considering the ethical aspect of the health care sector. Ethical awareness is important in nursing because they are in direct contact with the patient and the action has influence over the health status of the patient (Milliken 2018). Reflective practice is considered to be important skills that help the individual to learn from their past and improve their future practice. Reflective writing helps to critically analyze the situation to understand the right and wrong concerning the scenario (Helyer 2015). Many reflective models can be used for the reflection and one of them is Driscoll model. This model is based on three questions that are used to evaluate the scenario that includes what, so what and now what. The essay will be using the DRISCOLL’S reflective framework to reflect upon a scenario to understand the ethical-legal aspect.


The first clinical placement is always daunting as you are worried about how I will manage things or is I am ready to handle the pressure. This reflection is an incident I have encountered during my first clinical placement that has been important to understand the importance of the ethical aspect of nursing. I was newly appointed as a student nurse and I was ready to use my theoretical knowledge in the clinical placement to justify my professional role.

The incident starts when I was instructed to give the patient an insulin injection by my RN with whom I was paired for my clinical practice. I was very worried about how she is will react if I was not able to perform the work as per her instruction. Then after counselling myself I helped the patient with insulin injection but after administering the medicine I realised I forgot to bring the kidney dish that is necessary for the disposal of the needle.

After the situation, I got panicked as I was unable to evaluate how to handle this situation as it was my first time as a student nurse in clinical practice. I tried to find the sharp container near me but I was unable to trace it that adds the awkwardness into my action. After realising it the RN immediately instructed me to re-cap it for the disposal but I refused to recap it. I was reluctant to re-cap the needle as during my curriculum I was instructed to not re-cap the needle as it can lead to serious blood-borne infection we have to directly put it in kidney dish followed by disposing of. After my reluctant behaviour, RN again instructed me re-cap the needle but I again refuse to do so as I want to stand by understanding. The reluctance behaviour toward RN instruction increase her anger thus she screams at me to re-cap the needle right now. This increases my distress and I was anxious as I have to follow her instructions that are just opposite to my understanding.

When I was placing the cap on the needle I was shaking due to anxiousness that led to the accident and I puncture my left thumb with the needle. This increases the anger of the RN and she stated to the patient that we will need your blood sample to evaluate the rare disease this idiot has contracted.

So What

This incident makes me dejected as I was not able to use my theoretical knowledge into the practice that is expected from the nurses. I was expecting that I will be able to justify the professional role that is expected from a student nurse under the guidance of the RN. I was very confused regarding what I should follow my theoretical knowledge or RN instruction as they are contradicting. According to Baraz (2015) to clinical learning is important when it comes to clinical placement and student nurse are expected to learn the new procedure from the RN and follow their instruction to improve quality of care. The clinical placements help the student nurses to improve their skills concerning the practice that is necessary to maintain quality of care.

Patient care not only demands excellent clinical procedures that aim to improve the care of the patient but ethical aspects are equally important to improve ethical practice in care. Nurses are expected to balance out the quality of care concerning the ethical aspect to reduce the chances of any issue that can increase complication. Different ethical principles are necessary to reduce which includes beneficence that state that everything should be in the best interest of the patient. Another principle is Non-maleficence state that there should least harm to the patient concerning the care procedure (Lulé et al. 2019). After the incident, I realised that due to my distress and anxiousness the situation can be harmful to the unethical patient. But I end up hurting myself that is also dangerous as it can lead to any serious infection that can increase complication.

The interpersonal skills are important when you are working as a team and both the nurses should understand and respect each other aspect. RN is expected to be the mentor of the student nurse and their attitude directly influence the student nurse action that can be positive or negative as per their interaction. RN is expected to utilize effective communication skills to improve the clinical competency of the student nurse by guiding and helping them out in different procedure (Rebeiro et al. 2015). The behaviour of the RN also increased the complexity of the scenario because I was already nervous concerning the situation then the harsh behaviour has increased my distress that leads to the accident. 

The whole incident was quite challenging for me because I was newly appointed as a student nurse and I was very nervous concerning the procedure that led can lead to an ethical legal complication.

Now What

The incident has made me realise that I need to improve my practice and interpersonal skills that are necessary to provide quality of care considering the ethical aspect. According to Nursing and Midwifery (2017) nurses are expected to follow the professional standards that are necessary to provide excellent care by combining with ethical aspect. The professional standards include code of conduct, the standard of practice and code of ethics that help to improve the professional practice. Standard of practice and code of conduct helps the nurse to improve the clinical practise and codes of ethics are important to consider the ethical aspect of care. I will try to improve my understanding concerning the professional standards that help me to improve my clinical practise that is necessary to reduce the chances of ethical –legal complication.

Ethical values are an integral part of the health care that is framed to improve the action, intention and motive of the health care professionals. Ethical values are important for the nurses as it helps to improve decision making by considering the consequences. The changing society has also updated the professional ethics and nurses are expected to understand followed by implication in the care. Ethical principles are the backbone of ethical values that are important in the nursing profession (Kangasniemi et al. 2015). I will try to improve my understanding concerning the different ethical principles that are important to provide quality and safe care to the patient. I will try to incorporate ethical values with professional practice to justify the quality of professional practises expected from a student nurse.

Communication skills are important to put forward your point in any sector but health care sector demands excellent communication skill to improve the teamwork. The communication helps to convey the individual perspective concerning the care procedure that is important to decrease any type of harm. Better communication with seniors and colleagues is important to improve professional practice by updating the working pattern and it also important for the teamwork to coordinate in different task. It helps to establish the rapport with the colleagues that is important to harmonically perform different delegated task concerning the accountability (Chichirez & Purcărea 2018). Thus incidents make me realise that if I had communicated with the RN regarding the issue it can be helpful to reduce the chances of an accident that has increased complication. I will try to improve my communication skills that are necessary to convey important information concerning professional practice.

The incident is an eye-opener for me to understand the importance of ethical values in the clinical setting. I was very dejected after this incident realising that I was not able to put forward my best as per my professional role. This incident has helped me to identify some of the skills that I need to work on to improve my professional practise. I will try to improve my understanding regarding the Nursing and Midwifery Board professional standard to improve professional practice. I will try to incorporate ethical value in clinical practice to balance the ethical and professional aspect. Communication is important for the nurses so I want to improve my communication skills to improve the teamwork that is important in the health care setting.

References for Driscoll Model

Baraz, S, Memarian, R & Vanaki, Z 2015, Learning challenges of nursing students in clinical environments: A qualitative study in Iran, Journal of education and health promotion, vol. 4, no. 52, pp. 1-9, <>

Chichirez, CM & Purcărea, VL 2018, Interpersonal communication in healthcare, Journal of medicine and life, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 119–122.

Helyer, R 2015, Learning through reflection: the critical role of reflection in work-based learning (WBL), Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 15–27, <>

Kangasniemi, M, Pakkanen, P & Korhonen, A 2015, Professional ethics in nursing: an integrative review, Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 71, no. 8, pp. 1744–1757, <>

Lulé, D, Kübler, A & Ludolph, A C 2019, Ethical principles in patient-centered medical care to support quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Frontiers in Neurology, vol. 10, no. 259, pp. 1-8, <>

Milliken, A 2018, "Ethical Awareness: What it is and why it matters", OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, vol. 23, no. 1, <>

Nursing and Midwifery Board. (2017). Professional standards. <>

Rebeiro, G, Edward, K, Chapman, R & Evans, A 2015, Interpersonal relationships between registered nurses and student nurses in the clinical setting—A systematic integrative review. Nurse Education Today, vol. 35, no.12, pp. 1206–1211, <>

Smith, K. (2016). Reflection and person-centredness in practice development. International Practice Development Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-6. <>

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Nursing Assignment Help

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