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Introduction Of Reflective Account and Action Plan
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This assessment will provide a reflective account and an action plan about a critical incident that happened to one of my family members recently and affected me psychologically. This assessment will be carried out with the help of Atkin's & Murphy's theory of reflective practice. This theory was developed in the year 1993 (Atkins and Murphy, 1993). This theory is based on thinking and stopping about the work and consciously analyzing the decision to change the future action and move forwards towards a better approach. According to Atkins & Murphy theory, it is observed that human finds it difficult to think about the hard and uncomfortable experiences.
A critical incident is considered to be a sudden or unexpected event that has the perception of threat to life and also includes various elements of physical and emotional loss. One of the critical incidents which I faced in recent times is during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Three months ago, one of my neighbors was tested COVID-19 positive and she was hospitalized. I was very scared and this was the experience that affected me so much in the last few months. I observed her facing breathing issues and she died just after seven days of getting hospitalized. This incident affected me so much that I did not move out of my house for the next 14 days not even for groceries. This is the reason I consider this as a critical incident as it is the most unexpected and awful experience for me.
Fear and distress are the feelings that I have experienced during this period and the thoughts of getting tested as COVID-19 positive was hampering me a lot (Wagner et al. 2020). I was feeling very uncomfortable because someone died of this disease as well as people are dying across the world because of this disease. I was very scared and due to this distress and fearful feeling I was even not able to move out of my house for purchasing essentials.
In relevance to the situation, I experienced that I was very scared of the things which were happening across the world and especially in my neighborhood. I saw their family members crying this made me feel very uncomfortable and this sense of discomfort made me go through a sense of stress for a long period. I choose to stay at home for straight 14 days and not even went out of my house for purchasing the essential things. I was too scared and was not even talking to anyone as I saw a very healthy and strong young woman dying. Due to these instances, I also gained knowledge about different ways people can avoid the chances of getting hit by COVID-19. I spent several sleepless nights and this incident was hampering me psychologically. One of my doctors told me that if I do not avoid these things it can even have a long-term impact on me and I can face issues in the nervous system. These are some of the knowledge I gained from this critical incident and the feeling of fear, as well as discomfort, are the feelings which I analyzed in myself because of this critical incident situation (Caldas et al. 2020).
This is the most essential step of the Atkin & Murphy theory of reflective practice where reflecting the new knowledge gained is an essential task (Atkins and Schutz, 2013). There are several new things that I learned from this situation. One of the new knowledge that I learned because of this situation which I missed at the initial stage was cooperation among the people. I tried to lock myself inside the house as I was very scared and distressed because of the current situation and when I saw my neighbors and my friends are supporting me so much in such conditions, I understood the need for developing collective spirits and social responsibilities. It is observed that for overcoming a global crisis it is very essential to realize own’s mistake and deficiencies and always stay at the front-foot to respond towards the needy in this situation. From this critical incident situation, I learned that it is the time when all the people need to stay together and keep telling everyone the requisites which will keep the community morale at the top (Wagner et al. 2020). These are some of the new knowledge that I learned from this situation.
This new knowledge challenges the things which I have learned in the class about critical incidents and feelings. This new knowledge challenged the learning about handling difficult situations and value the conditional learnings (Xiong et al. 2020). I have learned in the class that it is very essential for an individual to have a descriptive-interpretive way of dealing with the critical issues but on the other hand, the learnings from this situation indicated that it is very essential for an individual to interpret the experiences with the help of multiple modalities but it also provided me with the idea that constructivism is not always linear for every approach and the can affect different people differently while dealing with this kind of situations (LoGiudice et al. 2020). These are some of the challenges which this critical incident situation imposed on the things which I have learned in the class and this has also helped me to understand different perspectives of dealing with different types of situations.
The things which I had learned in the class are very much based on assumptions and it is difficult to compare a real-life incident and an assumed incident, but it is also true that the learnings from the classroom helped me to analyze the ways which can be used to recover from critical incidents. I also learned in class that for handling critical incidents I have to be sure about the things which I believe and in this situation, my belief helped me a lot to overcome my fear and effectively tackle the issues. in the classroom, I learned that the learnings remain mostly hidden until and unless I try to make them explicit, and during this situation, I observed that it is important to explain the situation effectively and analyze the points which make this situation more memorable and significant (González-Sanguino et al. 2020). I also learned that it is important for an individual to understand that every situation is different and for dealing with different situations we need to find different ways. Without getting de-moralized I should try to engage myself in effectively managing things. These are the things that I have learned in the class and the things mentioned above provide the idea about the ways through which it helped me to deal with the situation.
I tried several things which were very essential to deal with the issues effectively and cope with the impacts of this critical incident. During the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown scenario, there has been a sudden increase in the level of mental stress among people (www.mentalhealth.org.uk, 2021). People are not allowed to go out in the market and socialize as well as not allowed to live their lives the way they used to live earlier this is the reason World Health Organization (WHO) developed a stress management manual for people across the world who are facing these issues and not able to cope up. The manual which was published by WHO contained various types of stress management steps as well as indicated several situations which people are facing in recent times due to which stressful environment is observed among the people (www.who.int, 2020). I observed that the points which were included in the WHO stress management manual were matching with the issues which I was facing and to get rid of these issues I also tried to focus on the points mentioned in the manual. This manual mentioned several practical skills which are very essential for an individual to cope up with these issues. The most effective measure which I used the most is practicing self-help techniques. Meditation and Yoga are two of the major techniques which were mentioned in the manual for relieving stress as well as the stress management manual mentioned that people need to keep themselves busy in their daily household work as well as start working from home to keep themselves away from inappropriate thinking (Kassymova et al. 2018).
Through my research on the legislative articles, I observed that in the UK some of the people are working from home whereas some of the people are facing issues due to the changes in their employment status and this is the reason there has been a difference in the mental health impact which will persist as well as likely to increase as the time goes on (www.gov.uk, 2021). I was feeling very much anxious and worried because of the situation and to reduce the impact of this issue I observed that the instructions provided in the article indicated the increase in the divergence of the thinking and keep the mind busy which is also termed as a mental workout (www.legislation.gov.uk, 2021). The mental health services were provided by the doctors in the form of videos, documentaries, and online papers. These are the alternative studies and research which I have conducted for coping with this issue in an effective manner.
The achievement of the additional learnings for coping with the issues I was facing and action the critical incident under the following SMART headings:
- Specific: There were some of the specific learning goals behind conducting this additional research and actioning the critical incident. One of the major goals was to increase my knowledge regarding the issue which the people are facing as well as increase the knowledge about the issues which I was facing. The feelings I was facing during this condition were not allowing me to stay calm and therefore, the most important goal was to understand the ways which can help me reduce this anxiety and distress.
- Measurable: I started using the techniques suggested by WHO like Yoga and meditation and after 7 straight days of yoga I observed that I am quite calm and prepared a chart for myself to check the improvement daily. This is the way I measured that the goals are being achieved.
- Achievable: For making the goals achievable I developed physical and mental workout patterns as suggested by the WHO doctors and included them in my daily routines. I observed a fine change in my state of mind. This additional research helped me to reduce the impact of the issues on my mind. This is the way I tried to convert the goals into achievable ones.
- Realistic: For ensuring that these learning goals remain realistic I used the legislative, government reports, and studies as well as contacted my doctor who is dealing with the COVID-19 patients, and gained the required number of insights from them for keeping the goals realistic.
- Timely: The charts I have developed for conducting the daily exercises and as per the WHO guidelines these are 14-day methods and this is the way through which I kept these goals timely.
This assessment concludes that a critical incident is an incident that occurs unexpectedly and affects a person emotionally and morally. These incidents also affect the way of thinking of the people. The critical incident which I faced is the death of my neighbor because of COVID-19 and seeing someone strong and young die was something that affected me very badly. It also concluded that the fear, anxiety, distress, and psychological instability are the things which I was feeling due to this critical incident and I was having various uncomfortable thoughts which were hampering me both mentally and physically. I was having sleepless nights and was not able to go out even for purchasing essential goods. I started to stay very scared all the time and this is the reason I started to read and watch different articles and studies as well as different documentaries released by the doctors stating the necessary things which needed to be done during this situation. I used the WHO stress management manual as well as various legislations for analyzing the ways which can be used for reducing the impact of this issue. This assessment also concludes that I used several information collected from the doctors and these articles and developed SMART objectives for achieving the goals effectively. These are the points that summarize the points which I have learned through this exercise.
Atkins, S. and Murphy, K., 1993. Reflection: a review of the literature. Journal of advanced nursing, 18(8), pp.1188-1192.
Atkins, S. and Schutz, S., 2013. Developing skills for reflective practice. Reflective practice in nursing, pp.23-52.
Caldas, M.P., Ostermeier, K. and Cooper, D., 2020. When helping hurts: COVID-19 critical incident involvement and resource depletion in health care workers. Journal of Applied Psychology.
González-Sanguino, C., Ausín, B., Castellanos, M.Á., Saiz, J., López-Gómez, A., Ugidos, C. and Muñoz, M., 2020. Mental health consequences during the initial stage of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in Spain. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 87, pp.172-176.
Kassymova, K., Kosherbayeva, N., Sangilbayev, S. and Schachl, H., 2018, September. Stress management techniques for students. In International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Personality Formation in Modern Society (ICTPPFMS 2018). Atlantis Press.
LoGiudice, S.H., Liebhaber, A. and Schöder, H., 2020. Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and planning for the future. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 61(8), p.1096.
Wagner, S.L., White, N., Fyfe, T., Matthews, L.R., Randall, C., Regehr, C., White, M., Alden, L.E., Buys, N., Carey, M.G. and Corneil, W., 2020. Systematic review of posttraumatic stress disorder in police officers following routine work?related critical incident exposure. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 63(7), pp.600-615.
www.gov.uk, 2021. Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19 [Accessed on 4th April 2021]
www.legislation.gov.uk, 2021. Coronavirus Legislations. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/coronavirus [Accessed on 4th April 2021]
www.mentalhealth.org.uk, 2021. Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/research/coronavirus-mental-health-pandemic [Accessed on 4th April 2021]
www.who.int, 2020. Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/coping-with-stress.pdf?sfvrsn=9845bc3a_2 [Accessed on 4th April, 2021]
Xiong, J., Lipsitz, O., Nasri, F., Lui, L.M., Gill, H., Phan, L., Chen-Li, D., Iacobucci, M., Ho, R., Majeed, A. and McIntyre, R.S., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders.