Providing constructive feedback to a 3rd year student nurse on using aseptic technique in wound dressing (in surgical ward)

Providing constructive feedback to a 3rd year student nurse on using aseptic technique in wound dressing (in surgical ward)

Constructive feedback ensures individuals become more competent professionals. This work looks at the process of using aseptic technique to dress a wound. It begins with a detailed description of the technique, right from preparing the patient to disposal of waste. It discusses the concept of mentorship and its relationship with constructive feedback. This looks at the six attributes of mentorship, that is, teaching-learning process, reciprocal role, and therole of mentorship in career development, duration of time for mentorship, the resonating phenomenon and the differential competence between participants(Grossman, 2013 p.38). Discussed in this work, is an analysis of performance of the activity that consists of feedback from both the mentor and protégé. The work culminates with a brief discussion of the changes and recommendations that can make this a better practice, for example a support group for mentors.

Dressing an aseptic wound requires one to observe the highest level of care and hygiene(Kilgallon, 2012 p.159). I am careful to maintain asepsis, expose the wound for the minimum time and use an efficient dressing procedure. After cleaning the necessary surfaces that I will use, I inspect the equipment to ensure the dressing pack is intact. I arrange then arrange the contents of the pack on the surface then loosen the dressing of the patient by adjusting the bedclothes so as to expose the wound. I then dry my hands completely and use a waste bag to remove the soiled dressing. I examine the wound to determine the amount of exudate. I then put on my gloves carefully. II use a gauze swab dipped in cleaning solution to clean around the wound. In case the wound needs cleaning, I irrigate it using a syringe with a solution and a gauze swab. I allow the solution to flow into the wound while collecting it with the gauze below the wound. I then peel off the backing paper and apply the new dressing.

The concept of mentorship in nursing first appeared in the 1970’s. It first requires consent from both the mentor and protégé. It has the attribute of a teaching-learning process (Grossman, 2013 p.38). This is where the mentor first shows the protégé what to do as he or she observes. It entails giving of instructions and pointers on important things to note. This gives the mentor a chance to teach, and the protégé a chance to learn. Mentorship includes a reciprocal role, where the protégé not only gathers information but also participates. This is either by trying out what he or she learns or by seeking clarifications and giving ideas. The enthusiasm of both individuals makes mentorship interesting and energetic. The law of reciprocity facilitates effective mentorship in nursing. Mentorship also plays an important role in career development. This is especially in the benefit of the protégé who yearns to further his or career. The mentor also feels the challenge to grow and expand his knowledge to benefit himself and his protégé. Grossman also explains that mentorship includes a difference in competence between participants (2013 p.39). The mentor usually has more knowledge and is more competent than the mentee. Mentorship usually takes several years. In nursing, mentorship takes an average of two and a half years. This allows protégé nurse to develop a feel for the job. It also manifests a resonating phenomenon, where nurses who received mentorship will mentor others as a show of gratitude. The end result is a professional network of very competent nurses. This attributes of mentorship make it possible to give constructive feedback. The mentor gives feedback to the protégé who is able to learn and make necessary adjustments. The protégé also gives feedback to the mentor and allows the mentor to become better at mentorship. Constructive feedback is the backbone of mentorship because it ensures evaluation and development in the nursing profession. It helps and supports learning. It is given during the event. It also allows for adequate time to listen and ensures objectivity. Mentorship in nursing provides an opportunity to transform medical care. This is because nurses learn from the best and therefore become the best (Aston, 2011p.13).

The activity was interesting because the nurse was eager to learn. She was very attentive and listened carefully. I introduced her to the preparation process. This involved drawing screens around the bed to ensure adequate lighting. I explained the process to the patient so that he could give informed consent. The nurse was keen to note the calm tone I used with the patient to help him relax and be comfortable. I asked the nurse to help me in ensuring the patient was comfortable by gently adjusting his position. She was able to do though she was somewhat hesitant. I could see that she was afraid of causing the patient any discomfort. This was good so I encouraged her. I demonstrated the activity slowly and carefully, making sure she sees everything.

She performed the activity well but lacked confidence. This made the patient unsettled because he had doubts whether she was competent enough to complete the dressing. She was constantly shaking and seemed unsure of herself. There were times she would forget to decontaminate her hands but I kept reminding her. I realized that she was trying too hard to perform the activity perfectly. She did perform the activity accurately, despite the challenges.

This was a good experience for her because she was able to conduct a self-assessment. She also pointed out the issue of lack of confidence and we agreed that she needed to perform more of these activities so as to build her confidence. She also needed to take time to master the dressing process to be able to do it better next time. I learnt that I need to slow down my pace when explaining what I am doing because I talk too fast. This was good because the aim of the activity is to help the nurse learn as much as possible. I also discovered that I need to mentor the nurse and supervise her when it comes to disposal of waste and asking the patent comfortable after the procedure. Generally, the activity was a success and I am certain this mentorship will help us both grow into better professionals.

For the best practice in using the aseptic technique in wound dressing, it is important to be confident. This makes the patient feel safe and thus become comfortable. It ensures the procedure takes the least time possible. In a surgical ward, the greatest risk to the health of the patient involves infection. It is important to follow all hygienic procedures when dressing a wound. This is because many nurses tend to assume that the first decontamination when preparing for the procedure is enough. In medical facilities that lack antibacterial detergents, it is effective to wash hands using soap and water. There is need to emphasis this especially when using the aseptic technique. For best practices, it is important to include and allocate adequate time for constructive feedback. This rarely happens because mentors have little time to spare. Time for constructive feedback should ensure that both the mentor and protégé give their feedback. In most instances, the mentor gives feedback and clarifies questions but rarely allows the protégé to give feedback. This is essentially driven by the fact that the mentor is more competent than the protégé. I would also recommend a support system for mentors. This would be a place where they can share their ideas, experiences and challenges. It would be a very effective avenue for giving feedback to mentors especially from their peers.


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