Reflective Thinking Assignment
One Monday afternoon, as I was finalizing with my ward rounds, I received a call from Dr. Harris – my supervisor – asking me to immediately report at his office. I right away hurried to Dr. Harris’ office upon which I was asked to take care of a certain woman – 20-year-old Jane – who had just been rushed in. Harris hurriedly told me that the hospital records that accompanied Jane indicated that she was suffering from an acute case of sickle cell crisis.
On seeing the troubled patient, a mixture of feelings crisscrossed my mind and body. As I heard Jane groan in pain owing to the intense pain she was experiencing, I could not help but feel pity for her. Such emotions emanated from my quality of humanity. Further, I pitied Jane since I understood that she was an unfortunate victim of genetic malfunctioning effects. This sympathy arose from the fact that I understood that sickle cell conditions are genetic and are not related to anything the patient did or failed to do (Capenito-Moyet, 2008).
Further, I could not help but start thinking about the implications of Jane having sickle cell anemia. I entertained these thoughts owing to my knowledge that women are disproportionately negatively affected by sickle cell situations than men. For example, female patients experience more agony on seeing their offspring succumb to this condition besides experiencing pregnancy-related complications (Martí-Carvajal, Peña-Martí, Comunián-Carrasco et al. 2007). Such information made me to deeply contemplate on Jane’s situation.
Marion – a fellow nurse – was seemingly thinking as I did judging from the confused expression on her face. She just hopelessly looked at Jane as though Marion could do nothing to change Jane’s fate. As a nurse, Marion had obviously studied – or even dealt with sickle cell anemia cases and was thus well-versed with the intricacies of the ailment.
Based on the aforementioned analysis of Jane’s situation, I immediately took a deep interest in her, doing all I could to secure her comfort. Moreover, I asked Marion to assist me in handling Jane’s case. Working as a team, we quickly carried out urinalysis on Jane to establish if the patient had urinary tract infection. Further, we did a chest x-ray to check for occult pneumonia. We also administered analgesics, opioids, and hydration on the patient (Hurtig & Viera, 1986). I should mention that had I panicked or failed to demonstrate empathy towards Jane, I would have responded to her slowly, thus allowing her pain to persist. My quick action however saved Jane from more pain.
Relating my action to my beliefs, I acted quickly because I knew that Jane was terminally ill and thus required to enjoy life that was as comfortable as possible. Further, my ethical principles of compassion made me to sympathetically handle Jane’s case.
The medical expertise that I had proved very helpful in this situation. For example, I was aware of the diagnostic procedures for sickle cell anemia crises, a quality that enabled me to speedily perform an e-x-ray as well as urinalysis on Jane. Further, my knowledge enabled me to administer necessary pain relievers to the patient.
My experience with Jane relates to an earlier experience whereby an old man was rushed into the hospital with a severe case of arterial plaque. Just like Jane was experiencing vaso-occlusive crisis which obstructed capillary blood flow, this man’s heart was deprived of blood as the vessels transporting blood into the heart were blocked by fat. I quickly sprang into action in both cases so as to save the patients from additional suffering.
As I handled Jane, I appreciated the fact that drugs like naproxen and diclofenac are not very effective in acute sickle cell crisis patients after they failed to successfully relieve Jane of pain. Consequently, I discovered that intravenous administration of opioids is the best remedy for such a case.
Further, considering that I initially had to handle Jane on my own, this experience exposed me to a sickle cell crisis situation. I was thus made more competent with regard to properly receiving and handling sickle cell patients.
Capenito-Moyet, L. J. (2008). Sickle cell disease: psychological and psychosocial issues. Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
Hurtig, A. L.; & Viera, C. T. (1986). Nursing care plans & documentation: Nursing diagnoses and collaborative problems. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Martí-Carvajal, A. J.; Peña-Martí, G. E.; Comunián-Carrasco, G. et al. (2007). Interventions for treating painful sickle cell crisis during pregnancy. Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group’s Trials Register, 2, 7: 6-11.