Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle


Reflective writing is considered to be an important method of education in health and social care (Moon, 2007). In order to optimise formal learning from previous experiences, reflection is recognised as an essential tool, which allows for developing description of an experience happened, evaluating it, analysing it and then establishing an action plan for the future practice (Jasper, 2013). Gibbs’s reflective cycle (Gibbs, 1988) is widely recognised as an effective method of reflection in interprofessional patient centred care (Burzotta et al., 2011).

As a part of practice education 3 module, I will be reflecting on an incidence, that took place during 4 weeks of placement in radiotherapy departments. Gibbs’s model of reflection will be used to structure this reflection.



During the second week of placement, a patient on a wheel chair came into the treatment room to have radiotherapy. First of all, I introduced myself to the patient and took her to the treatment couch. Then, when the patient was ready to stand up, the patient raised her hands for letting me pull her and helping her standing up. I politely told her that, I cannot do that and asked her to put her hands on the armrests of the chair and then I could help her standing up by putting me one hand on her shoulder and the other on her back, as would help her standing and it was safer practice for me. The patient got angry at me and said that, I did not want to help her. I tried to explain her that, it is against the rules to do that, but she did not want to listen my opinion, so I asked the radiographer to assist her as she did not want my help any more.


When the patient got angry at me, I was very stressed and frightened that the patient may refuse to get treated or to elevate the situation. I knew that, the patient was nervous and claustrophobic, so I just decided to step back and gave her the chance to calm down. When the patient did not want to listen to me, I decided to step back and let the radiographer to handle the situation.


In the first instance, I felt that, I did something wrong or I did not handle the situation well. However, the radiographers told me that, I did nothing wrong and I was right, and some patient may be as aggressive to any action from us, because they are stressed and nervous, especially when there was a large machine that would be rotated around them. Although, I have been told that, I was not wrong, I was still feeling bad and nervous, that I could not able to meet the needs of my patient. However, on the next day, when the patient came again to get the treatment, she apologised to me and told me that, she was stressed. I said, it was fine, and I can understand what she was going through.


Moving and handling of patients play a major part in the health care professional’s everyday life, and one patient may need repetitive movements over the course of treatment (Hauk, 2018). In the UK in 2016, an estimated of 30.8 million days were lost due to absences, because of musculoskeletal injuries and this comes second after absences minor illness (cough and cold) (Office for National Statistics, 2016). In addition to this, it has been reported that, musculoskeletal injuries are the highest in health and social care workers including lower back pain, neck pain and upper limbs pain (Health and Safety Statistics, 2015). Therefore, moving and handling is a challenge for health care workers, and this can be minimised with knowledge, clear legislations and risk assessments (Warren et al., 2016). As a third-year student, it is my duty to take care of my own and other people’s health and safety at the workplace. I conduct this, by following the legislation related to moving and handling of the patients demonstrated by, Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) and Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).

Halevy et al., (2017) claimed that, aggressiveness can be an involuntary self-defence mechanism as a result of fear and anxiety. The patient’s aggressive response to me for refusing to pull her arms to help her stand can be explained by the fact that, the patient was frightened and stressed of having radiotherapy, as she has never had radiotherapy before. However, the radiographer, who assisted the patient, had a very good communication strategies, which helped to reduce patient’s stress. Good communication techniques are critical aspect in managing patient’s anxiety and it is important to maintain a composed and calm attitude towards patients carefully (Appukuttan et al., 2016).

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Good moving and handling of patients is very essential to minimise musculoskeletal injuries at the work place and to ensure the staff and patient’s health and safety. There are some legislations and regulations, which have to be followed in order to reduce the amount of injuries during work that can affect the staff attendance to work, which in turn will affect the quality of service provided to the service user. Additionally, patient’s behaviours are unpredictable, and it is essential to learn how to deal with different emotions and situations, that patients may represent as well as to have some strategies, which would reduce the patient’s anxiety.

Action plan

I should continue following whatever rules and legislations provided in the workplace even though sometimes the service users are not completely happy with the results. Because, the legislation is usually well established, and based on thorough researches and trials and made for the benefits of both the staff and patients. In addition to this, I should learn and develop different skills and communication techniques, which would help in managing patients’ behaviours and emotions in future.


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