NURS 450: Critical Reflection Paper

NURS 450: Critical Reflection Paper

The paper involves describing an experience in which you were involved and analyzing the situation. Describe why the experience occurred and what theory and evidence support professional responses to the given situation. Conclude with a critical reflection of changes you will consider improving the quality of your future practice. The paper must reflect upon all five of Carper’s ways of knowing (personal, aesthetics, ethical, empirical, and sociopolitical).

The paper must be a minimum of 4 pages in length, APA format, minimum of 5 academic references. REFERENCES SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD.

What is the critical reflection?

  • Process of analyzing, reconsidering, and questioning experiences (Murray & Kujundizic, 2005).
  • Allows us to gain knowledge and insight into our own actions and help us find ways to improve our practice. Guidelines:
  • Choose and describe an experience in which you were involved during your clinical time.
  • Analyze the situation to gain a better understanding of what happened, why it happened, how it happened.
  • Describe the implications of this experience in the nursing profession and nursing practice.NURS 450: Critical Reflection Paper
  • Reflect on how this experience will change your future nursing practice.
  • Support your analysis with theory (e.g., peer-reviewed nursing articles)
  • Incorporate Carper’s (1978) Ways of Knowing – see marking guide.

The Critical Reflection Rubric Using Carper’s (1978) Ways of Knowing in the journaling process allows you to view the situation from a broad, holistic way.

Review of Carper’s (1978) Ways of Knowing

  1. Empirics: facts, descriptive, scientific knowledge, the ‘science’ of nursing
  2. Esthetics: the ‘art’ of nursing, caring, the seven helping skills (warmth, genuineness, respect, empathy, concreteness, self-disclosure, immediacy); can involve intuition and judgment based on the context of the situation
  3. Personal: knowing one’s self in the situation, our actions, our biases, how we react e.g. what went well, what did not go well, what you would different
  4. Ethics: is the situation morally correct; what is the moral knowledge related to the situation, relate to the Canadian Nurses Association (2008) Code of Ethics.
  5. Socio-political (added by White 1995) involves the broader scope of nursing and can affect the nurse, client, family, community, nursing profession as a whole, the entire health care system; consider aspects such as quality improvement, practice change, empowerment? What are the barriers to change? What are the power issues involved? Who is disempowered? How can one take action towards change?


Components of Paper:

  1. Description of the situation or incident in which you were involved
  2. Analysis/examination of the situation from the five perspectives above in each paper. Explore best practice literature and apply theory to the situation (the practice research relationship)
  3. Next steps, what did you learn, how will it change your practice
  4. Academic paper using APA (title page, headings, references in text, reference list on a separate page, use of quotations appropriately). Double-spaced, 12-point font.NURS 450: Critical Reflection Paper

Clinical Experience

In the emergency, I did an assessment on 4 and 10-year-old children. The two girls were brought in by their grandmother. Both the girls had scabs, lesions on their scalps which were sore and itchy. The vital signs were stable. I could not understand what I am really looking at or what could have possibly caused those lesions. I did not get any pertinent information from the grandmother either.

From the physician’s assessment, I came to know that it was actually a staphylococcal skin infection and the two girls had lice in their hair. Lesions were due to extensive scratching of the head. The physician prescribed a medicated shampoo for lice treatment and a cephalexin suspension 7 ml q6h for 7 days.

The family was aboriginal. Since both parents were meth users the custody was given to the grandmother. The grandmother is old, widowed, and his own health issues to deal with. She was doing the best she could to take care of her grandchildren. Knowing her part of the story does make me think about the parents who are least concerned about their children’s well-being or getting their custody back.

Regardless of the situation, I kept my personal values, thoughts, and feelings to a side and treated the family with respect and care. I also provided reassurance and applauded the grandmother for doing everything to take care of her grandchildren as well as herself.

From my assessment, I realized that the grandmother was old, widowed, and managing on her own. To my understanding, she must be receiving children’s funding and maybe getting a little support from the social services. But all of this is not enough for her to substantially support herself and her grandchildren. She did not realize that the girls had lice in their hair.

It’s easy for the little kids to get lice when they go out and play. Hence their hair should be checked in routine for the same. She too has to deal with her own health problems. She might not have the strength to look after her grandchildren’s health and well-being and at certain times all of this may become very overwhelming for her. This can further lead to caregiver role strain. All of these factors combined can greatly hinder the family’s access to health care. NURS 450: Critical Reflection Paper