The Gibbs Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988) is a 6-step reflective model. It is often applied in Education, Nursing, Engineering and Applied Sciences.
What happened? Where, when and with whom?
During my acute placement in palliative care, I was asked by my clinical preceptor to conduct a comprehensive pain assessment on a patient that I had been delegated. The patient had been diagnosed with stage four cancer and was scheduled to undergo Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) in the coming days…
What were you thinking or feeling when it happened?
I sympathised with the patient and their family about how their initial wishes to undergo the VAD process may no longer be applicable. Although I was aware of this potential outcome, I instigated the matter promptly as I felt concerned that my patient…
What was good and bad about the experience?
While this experience offered me opportunities for my own professional development, my patient’s family members may have perceived it as negative, as the changing circumstances made it much more difficult for them to grieve and accept loss…
This is one of the most important sections of your reflection.
- What can you make of the experience?
- Why was this experience important to you?
- Does your analysis incorporate theory or evidence from literature?
To be eligible for VAD, one must meet the legal criteria, which includes maintaining the mental capacity to make and communicate appropriate decisions for oneself (White et al., 2020). Although my patient was originally given the go-ahead to be considered for VAD, they had started to lose their cognition prior to undergoing the VAD process, therefore, the initial proposal needed to be re-reviewed. This experience was important to me because…
What did you learn? What else could you have done?
This experience provided me with a practical understanding of how fast a patient can rapidly deteriorate. I also accumulated insights into the legislations affecting one’s ability to make decisions and pursue treatment options and scheduled processes...
6. Action Plan
If it were to happen again, what would you do? How will you apply what you have learnt?
If I ever encounter similar situations, I will follow the same methods and communication techniques that I demonstrated through this experience. Depending on the organisation or environment, I may now also search for appropriate…
The above examples have been adapted and used with student permission. For the full sample of a Gibbs reflection with annotations, see the Word and PDF files at the bottom of the page.