Ethical Practice: Nursing- Reflective Writing Assignment
You are an undergraduate nursing student at a large university and have just started your PEP in a busy urban hospital. In your practice units (your units that give you the practical skills you will need on PEP) your lecturer and tutor have stressed the importance of managing sharps (needles, cannulas and the like) correctly. Your tutor has told you on a number of occasions that after giving an injection, you should never re-cap the needle – instead, you should place it in a kidney dish and dispose of it directly from the dish into a designated sharps container. Your tutor has directed students to one of the Australian Government’s website on the handling of sharps and when you check out the website, you
can see that one of the recommendations is that ‘needles must not be recapped, bent or broken after use’. While you are on your placement the registered nurse (RN) you are paired with asks you to give one of the patients his insulin injection. You are a bit nervous as this nurse can be quite critical if you don’t do things her way. You give the patient his injection and immediately realise you haven’t brought a kidney dish to the bedside. You start to panic a bit as you don’t know where the closest sharps container is. The RN sees you awkwardly holding the needle and instructs you to re-cap it. You refuse, as you know that recapping needles increases the likelihood of a needle-stick injury, which can potentially transfer serious blood-borne diseases. Again, the RN instructs you to re-cap the needle, but you stand your ground once more. The RN then screams at you to re-cap the needle. Anxious and distressed, you begin to place the cap on the needle, but are shaking so much that the needle accidently punctures the skin on your left thumb. Clearly exasperated, the RN turns to the patient and states: ‘we’ll now need to take a
sample of your blood to see what rare diseases this imbecile may have contracted!’
This task will require you to reflect upon and analyse a written or video-based healthcare scenario from an ethico-legal perspective, using Driscoll’s reflective model as a guide.
It is expected that you will draw upon the unit content, personal experiences and relevant literature and learning resources to inform your reflection and analysis.
Assessment criteria (what you will be marked against)
1. Demonstrates familiarity with key concepts of ethical practice (covered in this unit) pertaining to the chosen situation;
2. Demonstrates an understanding of the ethico-legal complexities inherent in the situation, and consider the implications of different courses of action;
3. Shows evidence of developing ethical awareness and how selfreflection may inform your practice and relationships with others;
4. Writes clearly and succinctly