A REFLECTIVE ESSAY This is a reflective essay based on a event which took place in a hospital setting. The aim of this essay is to explore how members of the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) worked together and communicate with each other to achieve the best patients outcome. Reflection is an everyday process and is very personal matter. Jasper (2003) suggests that reflection is one of the key ways in which we can learn from our experiences. Reflective practice can be defined as process of making sense of events, situations and actions that occur in the workplace (Oelofsen, 2012). There are a different models of reflection.
One of them is Johns (1994) model of reflection, this model is based on five cue questions: description, reflection, influencing factors, alternative strategies and learning. That enable practitioner to break down his/her experience. Gibbs (1988) is another common model of reflection which consists of six stages: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan. The structure allows the reflection to be written in a clear way. In accordance with the NMC (2008) code of professional conduct, confidentiality should be maintain and all names will be anonymous.
Ii this essay I will use Gibbs (1988) model as a guide for my reflection. The first stage of Gibbs (1988) model of reflection requires a description of event. On the beginning of one of my shifts, my mentor informed me that I can participate in Multidisciplinary Team meeting. A Multidisciplinary Team meeting is a meeting of the group of professions from one or more clinical disciplines who together make decision regarding recommended treatment of individual patients (NHS 2012). I work on the ward on which these meetings are held every day.
On that day the meeting was attended by medical doctors, deputy sister, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, discharge coordinator, social worker and community nurse. Order of the meeting was as follows: at the outset a brief description of the patient was given by deputy sister. Then one of the doctors presented the patient current medical situation. At the end the other members of the team have time to take voice. They discussed medical and social situation of each individual patient. The team focused on planning and reviewing patients’ goals, they also made a joint decision about discharge plans and destinations.
I was given the opportunity to observe multidisciplinary team members working together and participated in the discussion about patients whom I took care of. The second stage of Gibbs (1988) model of reflection is a discussion about my thoughts and feelings. My feelings at the time were mixed. I felt welcome and accepted within the MDT meeting. Many of the professionals who took part in the meeting,I knew from my daily work, and this made me feel comfortable. The MDT listened to my opinion and asked further questions. I always thought of myself as a confident person.
However, when I stood and spoke in front of more qualified people then myself, my confidence vanished. I had no experience in speaking in front of large group and I was very nervous. For this reason my speech was not always consistent. In such a case, my mentor supported me and helped me by asking additional question that lead me to the right way. I found it very interesting to see how MDT cooperate and communicate well with each other . I am going to enter the third stage of Gibbs (1988) model of reflection which is evaluation.
There are many positive aspects of the MDT meeting. One of them is that the health professionals of different specialities are working as a team to achieve the same goals. The team members have different skills and knowledge. Their roles and responsibilities vary and are based on their professional experience. Thurgood et al. (2011) suggests that this skill mix is one of the most important benefits of working in MDT. Works in a team allows to collect informations from all its members which ensures that no important information about the patient will be ignored or missed.
Another big advantage of these meetings is that they are carried out every day. According to Whyte et al. ((2007) the most frequently team members meet face to face and have the chance to discuss issues and work together, the better communication will be. However, if effective communication among the team is not achieved, errors may occur. It is the major disadvantages of the MDT. The National Patient Safety Agency (2007) communication difficulties identified as a main factor influencing patient outcomes.
Stage four of Gibbs(1988) model is an analysis of the event. Communication is defined as a process that involves a meaningful exchange between at least two people to convey facts, needs, opinions, thoughts, feelings or other information through both verbal and non-verbal means, including face to face exchanges and the written word (DH 2010). For the MDT is important to effectively communicate with each other and overcome all communication barriers that may arise because poor communication among health professionals can negatively impact patient care.
Atmosphere during the meeting was friendly and thank to this that all team members knew each other from daily meetings effective communication was easily achieved. However, there was a few problems. A noticeable issue was that medical abbreviation used by the doctor were not understood by others members of the team. This led to interruption of his speech to find out about their mining. This is mainly related to the fact that different health care workers have different training and education. Another factor who had significant influence on the MDT meeting and extended it was partially not updated handover from previous shift.
The team had to correct the informations contained in it. In this case the handover missed its intended purpose because it was originally designed to transfer information concerning an individual patient with outstanding task from the outgoing to the incoming teams (Farhan et al. 2012). I think that I did well by participating in this meeting. As a student but also as a front line worker I could learn a lot from other professionals and I was able to inform the members of the team about the patients, whom I looked after, progress.
This is important because as a front line worker I interact more with patients during their hospital stay then any other health professional in the MDT ( Hamilton, Martin, 2007). If I had not given my opinion on the patients care, they could not benefit from the MDT as much as they did. Conclusion is the fifth stage of Gibbs (1988) cycle. The MDT give me the opportunity to work closely with other health professionals and better understanding their roles. I could clearly see that effective communication encourages collaboration, help prevent errors and can influence the success or failure of the patient care and treatment.
This experience helped me to learn the importance of sharing of skills and professional experience with others for the benefit of patient outcomes. This will help me to work effectively with others team members in the future. This situation showed me straights and weaknesses in my communication skills. As communication is a key building the relationship with others I need to continuously develop this knowledge. I also realized that speaking in front of large group of people is hard for me and this is the area which I have to improve. The final stage of Gibbs(1988) model of reflection is action plan.
If I find myself in this type of situation again I would be more confident in discussing about the patients and their needs. Communication is a skill that can be learned and continually improver (Webb, 2011). For this purpose I created an action plan that will help me to improved my this skills and gain self-confidence. The first objective in my action plan is to meet my mentor in order to discuses the whole situation and obtain feedback. The next point is to research further the appropriate literature to gain new informations and develop my knowledge.
I also want to attend a conflict resolution study day to learn how to resolve conflicts. Communication with others can be challenging (Webb, 2011) and conflicts may arise at any time, not only between team members but also between health professionals and patients or their families. Summarizing, reflection on this experience allowed me to identify gaps in my knowledge and establish my own learning needs. Gibbs (1988) model of reflection given me the chance to explore my thoughts and feelings, analyse the situation and draw conclusion for the future. This essay also enabled me to connect theory and practice.