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Critically Exploring Professional Practice

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This piece of essay on critical professional biography will among other things, state the meaning of a professional biography, purpose of my professional biography, discuss my entry into the field of nursing, examination of my career pathway in relation to Nursing and Midwifery Council`s domains of Competency Framework-professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, nursing practice and decision-making, leadership management and team-working. I will also discuss my professional development plan, what to improve on in my current role and the lessons learnt from the Critically Exploring Professional Practice module.

Meaning of a professional biography * Purpose of my professional biography

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* My entry into the field of nursing * Career Pathway/trajectory * My professional development plan -Self-assessment / reflection (SWOT Analysis) -Career goals -Current preparation * Lessons from Critically Exploring Professional Practice * References Meaning of a Professional Biography A professional biography is a clear and brief story of one`s career, training, career accomplishments, goals/expectations, plans and development (Wheatman,2012).

It highlights one`s personal and professional attributes and sets one apart.

Purpose of My Professional Biography The purpose of my professional biography is to enable me reflect on my professional practice; highlight my career progression and goals. This will enable me to critically examine both myself and my professional life. According to Wheatman (2011), a professional biography gives an overview of one`s career achievements and successes while also serving as an assessment tool. Also, to use this biography as a baseline for my future personal and professional development and planning.

Entry into the field of nursing My entry into the field of nursing can be likened to the journey of a thirsty man who walked into a shop to get a bottle of water to quench his thirst but ended up doing this with a bottle of beer. On graduation from the High School in 2012, I wanted to study Medicine and Surgery. This desire was informed by my passion for helping others especially the sick and also to save lives. Medical doctors support, care for and reinstate health by diagnosing and treating illnesses and physical ailments (Woolley, 2011).

I could not realise this dream as I lost several opportunities to gain admission to the university at the record time due to bureaucratic bottlenecks involved in the admission processes in Nigerian Universities. These challenges range from inadequate carrying capacity of the universities, inadequate facilities, poor financing, shortage of academic staff and defective education curriculum (Aluede, 2012). However, the parental/ family influence on me led to my finally accepting a place in the university to study nursing, a profession I never wished to study.

I never thought of studying nursing because I had hitherto believed that nursing was meant for only women. Surprisingly, contrary to my initial belief, the first set of trained individuals to provide nursing care were men who were guided by male physicians during the Hippocratic period of ancient Greece (Christman, 1998; Davis & Bartfay, 2001). I later accepted the offer to study nursing, on the consideration that it is a profession that involves caring for the sick, helping them lead an independent life.

Nursing involves alleviating human suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human responses, protection and preservation of health and prevention of injuries and illness (ANA, 2013). Nursing also includes advocacy in the care of not only the sick but also individuals, families, communities and populations. This role is therefore in line with my passion. The Bachelors of Nursing programme in my country, Nigeria, lasts five years for fresh college graduates and four years for direct entry students who had obtained the basic Registered Nurse Certificate.

However, I spent seven years in the course of studying for the Bachelors of Nursing due to the non-accreditation of the programme by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). Before universities are licensed by NMCN to graduate nurses, they must meet up with certain standards and requirements (NMCN,2004). The university where I studied could not meet up with these at the record time, thereby leading to the unnecessary extension of my study period to 2009 instead of 2008.

I sat for the qualification examination conducted by the NMCN in November 2009 but could pass all the courses at a sitting as I could not get through in the paper II. I finally sat for and passed the paper II in the following year, leading to my registration by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. My Career Pathway / Trajectory After my qualification as a Registered Nurse in May 2010, I started work as a Nursing Officer II at Saint Vincent`s Hospital, Abakaliki in February 2010 till January 2011.

In February 2011, I received a call-up to serve my country in the National Youth Service Corp Scheme-a compulsory one-year free service scheme to Nigeria. This led to my resignation from the hospital and I was posted to the Federal Medical Centre , Owo, where I served as a Nursing Officer I from February 2011 till February 2012. After a successful service to my country in the said hospital, I decided to go into the academic setting. Therefore, I was employed as a Graduate Assistant Lecturer in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki in April 2012.

My roles in this capacity include assisting my senior colleagues in classroom instruction on some nursing modules and clinical instruction. This was my last role before coming to do my masters programme. In all my role as a nurse in these clinical settings , I practised within the four domains of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Competency Framework-professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, nursing practice and decision-making and leadership, management and team-working. Though I qualified and was registered by the Nursing and

Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the Professional Code of Conduct of the NMCN is similar to the four domains of the Competency Framework stipulated by the NMC (NMCN, 2004). Domain 1: Professional values As nurses, professional values guide the decisions and actions we take in caring for our patients. We are responsible for caring for patients / clients during birth, illness and death. If we are not aware of the decisions and actions to take, it would be difficult to provide our patients / clients with outstanding care.

In my practice, I ensured that the professional values of nursing – dignity, autonomy, informed consent, patients` right and altruism are upheld. I demonstrated confidence in my practice in line with the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives (NMC, 2008) and within the legal frameworks of my organisation. I provided care in a non-judgemental and sensitive manner, maintaining equality and ensuring that no patient was discriminated against on any basis.

In my practice, I ensured that all my efforts/ actions supported and promoted the health of my patients / clients and their families, communities and the entire population. I ensured that the individual choices and rights of my patients / clients were respected. Domain 2: Communication and interpersonal skills Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are crucial in the care and management of patients / clients. In my practice, I ensured that I communicated with my patients effectively using various strategies.

While working with people with disability, I collaborated with other members of the health care team in order to obtain necessary information needed to promote optimum health and equal access to available rehabilitative services. As a nurse in the adult Medical-Surgical Ward, I appreciate what people experience when they are taken away from their familiar environments or homes may be due to illness or incapacitation to take care of them.

Entering a hospital, for whatever reason, is never a positive experience for the atient / client and their family members. Working in this ward gave me an insight into recognising when people are anxious or in distress and to respond effectively using various therapeutic communication methods like interviewing , advising, supporting, guiding , teaching , and counselling ( Barry, 1996). I listened to them carefully and with empathy while bearing in mind my professional boundaries. I also responded to them warmly to help relieve their anxiety and distress.

This helped them to verbalise their fears and anxiety and thus enhanced their recovery. I ensured the confidentiality of every patient information in line with the legal and ethical framework of my organisations. Spending a great deal of time in direct patient/client care and assessing interferences in their lives, patients / clients are more likely to confide in the nurses. This therefore places a great deal of responsibility on the nurse to maintain the confidentiality of the information given to them by their patients.

ANA (1976), states that the nurse protects to the patient`s right to privacy by carefully keeping every confidential information elicited from the patient. However, the nurse can share personal information of the patient with her professional colleagues when the interest of safety and protection outweighs the need for confidentiality (NMC, 2008). Domain 3: Nursing practice and decision-making This domain stated that all nurses must practise autonomously, skilfully and safely and must maintain dignity and promote health and wellbeing (NMC, 2008).

The domain further highlighted that that nurses must use up-to-date knowledge and evidence to assess, plan, deliver and evaluate care, communicate findings , influence change and promote health and best practice. Also nurses must make person-centred, evidence-based judgements and decisions, in partnership with others involved in the care process, to ensure high quality care. In my role as a nurse in the Medical-Surgical Ward, I provided evidence-based care in line with the hospital policy.

I also made sure I applied up-to-date knowledge in my nursing practice to ensure better/ positive health outcome for my patients and promote their health. To achieve this, I attended series of courses like Basic Life Support Training in 2010, Prevention from Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV Training Course in 2010, Mandatory Continuing Professional Development for Nurses in 2011 and National Youth Service Corp Red Cross First Aid Training in 2011 to update my knowledge and acquire more skills and improve my nursing practice.

Hodges et al(1988) supported this aspect of the NMC domain by stating that staff nurses could become experts in bedside care, taking personal responsibility for improving their technical skills and continuing education by attending conferences , workshops and trainings. The administration of nursing care is a continuum, as such; there must be proper partnership with others involved in the care process to ensure high quality.

Reflecting on my practice, one of the major challenges I faced in my practice was discrimination by my female senior colleagues while I worked in the Maternity / Labour Ward of Saint Vincent’s` Hospital. There, I was regarded as a “novice” and “inexperienced” in the unit by my senior colleagues because according to them, I had only one year of clinical experience. I found it quite discouraging as I felt I could have better clinical experience and skills more than some of them.

I endured this for about three months and when the impact on me was so much that I could not bear it any longer, I requested for a transfer to the Medical-Surgical Ward. As much as I could accept that didn`t have much experience at that time, I expected that my senior colleagues involve me in the various procedures carried in the ward and in the clinical decision-making in line with the NMC guide line(NMC,2008).

Dreyfus Model (Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 1980; Dreyfus, 1981) posits that in the acquisition and development of a skill, a student passes through five levels of proficiency: novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert. These different levels reflect changes in three general aspects of skilled performance-a movement from reliance on abstract principles to the use of past concrete experience as paradigms, a change on the learner`s perception of the demand situation and a passage from detached observer to involved erformer. In the novice level, Dreyfus stated that for a beginner or a novice in the clinical setting to gain experience , she/he should be taught and given tasks to gain the experience so necessary for skill development(Benner,2001). Also Dreyful stated that competence is acquired when one has been on a similar job for two or three years(Dreyfus,1981).

However, there could be an inconsistency in this argument, as the number of years a nurse worked in a unit does not necessarily determine the level of experience or how competent she could be in that aspect of nursing but competence is gained through knowledge, skills and attitudes(Cronenwett et al, 2007). Domain 4: Leadership, management and team working This domain states that nurses must demonstrate leadership in the delivery of patient care and liaise effectively with other members of the health care team to ensure optimum care for the patient.

After working in the Medical-Surgical Ward for about six months, I was promoted to the position of the head of the ward; to oversee the running of both the male and the female units of this ward. I did my best in providing purposeful leadership in directing the day-to-day running of the ward. I employed a democratic type of leadership, allowing room for all the nursing staff on my ward to participate in clinical decision-making to encourage them perform better on the job.

Cite this Critically Exploring Professional Practice

Critically Exploring Professional Practice. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/critically-exploring-professional-practice/

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