Measuring blood glucose levels is a technique that all nurses should be aware of. It is very important for a nurse to be precise in the procedure to carry out the measurement of blood glucose levels effectively and safely. Along with this, timely monitoring of blood glucose is also important as it will help the nurses in the successful management of the blood glucose that has been considered as out of the target range (Gordon, 2019). According to Lia, (2015) learning could be achieved through reflecting one’s practice. So, I would be using Gibbs's cycle of reflection to reflect upon my experience during learning a new skill that I have accomplished at the time of practical classes in NRSG140.
At the time of practical classes in NRSG140, once we were taught and trained regarding the measurement of blood glucose level. The skill was performed by our lecturer and for giving us an overview he showed a demonstration video of the procedure to us. Through that video I got an overview regarding the steps to be followed but, to let us know more insights into the measurement of blood glucose level and make us more clear, our lecturer demonstrated the whole procedure live and he was simultaneously letting us know all the precautions that must be taken while performing this to avoid any possible harm. Then, our lecturer divided the students into a pair of two and given us a kit and asked to perform on each other.
When we were asked to perform the procedure on each other, I had a mixed feeling of both excitements as well as I was scared. I was excited as I always wanted to learn this technique since my father was diagnosed with diabetes because with this I will be able to assess him anytime on a regular basis and effective management of diabetes could also be done. The other reason for my excitement was I knew how important it is for a nurse to be precise in such techniques. I was also scared at the same time because it was the first time I was about to prick someone else’s finger and the student who was paired with me was about to do mine. I was not much confident when I started the procedure as I was continuously shivering and thinking whether I will be able to remember all the steps or. But, as I started the procedure everything went well and now I am confident that I can perform this procedure precisely.
When I pricked the finger of the person who was paired with me, I did not get any blood. I remembered that in the video it was demonstrated that if something like this happens then, we should ask the person to hang his hand down for a minute or two and later on, grasp the area that is to be pricked and squeeze it gently (Pickering & Marsden, 2014). Similarly, I did and I was able to prick the blood. I took care of all the preventive measures such as hand hygiene, cleaning with methylated spirit swab, and properly dispose of the needle to avoid the chance of infection (CDC, 2020).
Making pairs of students and letting them perform on each other was an effective way to facilitate the practical as it has helped us not only in enhancing our clinical skills but have also improved our communication and collaborative skills which would be helpful in my future practice also.
From this class, I feel competent and confident that I will be able to perform this procedure well. I have seen myself developing during the class either it is about skill or personality development. This is so because the assessment was done in pairs so, this also made me learn the role of effective communication and teamwork between the staff members. Better communication and teamwork helps in the smooth facilitation of the process and I feel that this has developed my personality along with enhancing my skills. I have also learned self-awareness and how important it is to work by taking an account on the preventive measures. Unsafe practices during the measurement of blood glucose level increase the risk for transmission of pathogens. Things or actions that we were strictly asked to not to do were maintaining hand hygiene, disinfecting the area from where the blood is about to be pricked, properly dispose of the needle, and wearing gloves (World Health Organization, 2005).
The best possible action to be taken in my future practice would be incorporating all the learning with evidence-based theories. By this, there would be not even a single chance from which anything happens that is not good for the patient. This would also help in diminishing the theory-to-practice gap (Woo & Newman, 2019) as this is the most common barrier that is faced by the nurses during their transition phase from a student to a nurse (Safazadeh et al., 2018).
Centers for disease control and prevention. (2020). Infection prevention during blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/injectionsafety/blood-glucose-monitoring.html#:~:text=A%20simple%20rule%20for%20safe,and%20disinfected%20after%20every%20use.&text=Restrict%20use%20of%20fingerstick%20devices,that%20permanently%20retract%20upon%20puncture.
Gordon C. (2019). Blood glucose monitoring in diabetes: Rationale and procedure. British Journal of Nursing (Mark Allen Publishing), 28(7), 434–439. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2019.28.7.434
Pickering, D., & Marsden, J. (2014). How to measure blood glucose. Community Eye Health, 27(87), 56–57.
Safazadeh, S., Irajpour, A., Alimohammadi, N., & Haghani, F. (2018). Exploring the reasons for theory-practice gap in emergency nursing education: A qualitative research. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 7, 132. https://doi.org/10.4103/jehp.jehp_25_18
Woo, M., & Newman, S. A. (2019). The experience of transition from nursing students to newly graduated registered nurses in Singapore. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 7(1), 81–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2019.11.002
World Health Organization. (2005). Finger prick: Always use universal safety precautions. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/diagnostics_laboratory/documents/guidance/fingerprick.pdf?ua=1
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