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Sample Gibbs’ Model Nursing Reflection Paper

Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle is a widely used model for structuring nursing reflection papers. It involves a systematic approach that includes describing the experience, analyzing feelings and thoughts, evaluating the experience, drawing conclusions, and developing an action plan for future practice improvement.

Review: Nursing Reflective Writing Guide

Gibbs’ Model Nursing Reflection Paper Outline

Topic: Communication Challenges in the Emergency Department: A Nursing Reflection

  1. Introduction:
    • Briefly introduce the significance of effective communication in nursing practice
    • State the focus of the reflection paper: Exploring communication challenges in the emergency department
  2. Description of the experience:
    • Provide an overview of the emergency department environment and its unique communication demands
    • Describe a specific communication challenge encountered in the emergency department
    • Explain the context, individuals involved, and any relevant details of the situation
  3. Feelings and thoughts:
    • Reflect on your initial thoughts and emotions during the communication challenge
    • Explore the impact of the communication challenge on your ability to provide care
    • Discuss any personal biases, assumptions, or frustrations that emerged during the experience
  4. Evaluation and analysis:
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of your communication strategies and techniques used
    • Analyze the potential factors contributing to the communication challenge (e.g., time pressure, language barriers, emotional stress)
    • Reflect on the impact of the communication challenge on patient outcomes and interdisciplinary collaboration
  5. Conclusion:
    • Summarize the key lessons learned from the communication challenge
    • Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your communication skills in the emergency department
    • Discuss the implications of the experience on your future nursing practice
  6. Action plan:
    • Identify specific steps you will take to improve your communication skills in the emergency department
    • Consider further education, training, or seeking mentorship to enhance your communication abilities
    • Set goals for enhancing interdisciplinary communication and collaboration
  • Note: The outline provided follows Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle and can be tailored to your specific experience and challenges encountered in the emergency department.

Gibbs’ Model Nursing Reflection Paper Example

I. Introduction:

Effective communication is a cornerstone of high-quality nursing care, particularly in the fast-paced and demanding environment of the emergency department (ED) (Ramanujam et al., 2020; Turner et al., 2018). Clear and timely communication among healthcare professionals is vital for accurate assessment, rapid decision-making, and efficient delivery of care in emergency situations (Cooke & Waring, 2015). However, the ED setting presents unique challenges that can impede effective communication, such as time constraints, high patient volumes, and interdisciplinary collaboration (Hsieh et al., 2019; Leonard et al., 2017). This reflection paper will explore a specific communication challenge encountered in the ED and reflect on its impact, providing valuable insights for improving communication practices in emergency nursing care.

II. Description of the Experience:

In the dynamic environment of the emergency department (ED), effective communication plays a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery of safe and efficient care to patients (Ramanujam et al., 2020; Turner et al., 2018). During a particular shift in the ED, I encountered a communication challenge that profoundly impacted the care delivery process. The scenario involved a critically ill patient with limited English proficiency, and the language barrier between the patient, their family, and the healthcare team posed significant hurdles in conveying essential information, understanding patient needs, and obtaining informed consent. The complex and time-sensitive nature of the ED further heightened the intensity of the communication challenge, as rapid decision-making and collaboration were essential (Hsieh et al., 2019; Leonard et al., 2017). This experience serves as a prime example of the multifaceted communication difficulties that can arise in the ED setting, highlighting the critical importance of effective communication in overcoming barriers and ensuring patient-centered care.

III. Feelings and Thoughts:

When confronted with the communication challenge in the emergency department, a range of emotions and thoughts surfaced, highlighting the personal impact of the situation. Initially, I felt frustration and a sense of helplessness due to the language barrier impeding effective communication with the patient and their family. This hindered my ability to fully understand their concerns, provide reassurance, and establish a trusting relationship. Additionally, I experienced a deep sense of empathy towards the patient and their family, recognizing the added stress and anxiety they were experiencing in this critical moment. Reflection on these emotions revealed the importance of recognizing and managing personal biases, as well as the significance of cultural competence in delivering patient-centered care. It became evident that enhancing communication skills in diverse and challenging situations is essential to promoting positive patient outcomes and fostering a therapeutic environment within the emergency department.

IV. Evaluation and Analysis:

Upon reflection, a critical evaluation of the communication challenge in the emergency department revealed various factors that contributed to its complexity and impact. Time constraints emerged as a significant barrier, as the fast-paced nature of the ED demanded quick decision-making and rapid information exchange. This time pressure added an additional layer of stress and hindered thorough communication efforts. Furthermore, the language barrier highlighted the importance of cultural and linguistic competence in providing equitable and patient-centered care. Analyzing the situation highlighted the need for improved strategies to overcome communication barriers, such as utilizing interpretation services or leveraging technology to facilitate communication with patients and their families. This evaluation underscored the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the importance of clear and effective communication within the healthcare team to ensure coordinated and seamless care delivery. By critically analyzing the communication challenge, valuable insights were gained into the complex nature of communication dynamics in the emergency department and the necessity for continuous improvement in this vital aspect of nursing practice.

V. Conclusions and Lessons Learnt:

Reflecting on the communication challenge in the emergency department, several key lessons and insights have been gleaned. Firstly, the experience emphasized the critical role of effective communication in promoting patient safety, satisfaction, and optimal outcomes. It highlighted the need for healthcare professionals to proactively address communication barriers and prioritize cultural sensitivity to ensure equitable care for patients from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the reflection underscored the importance of self-awareness and recognizing personal biases that can impact communication effectiveness. The analysis of this experience serves as a catalyst for personal and professional growth, emphasizing the ongoing commitment to enhancing communication skills and fostering a collaborative and patient-centered approach in emergency nursing practice. By embracing these lessons, future encounters with communication challenges in the emergency department can be approached with heightened awareness, empathy, and a determination to continuously improve communication strategies for the benefit of patients and the healthcare team.

VI. Action Plan:

Based on the reflection and analysis of the communication challenge in the emergency department, several actionable steps can be identified to improve communication skills and enhance patient-centered care. Firstly, I will actively seek out opportunities for professional development in cultural competence and communication strategies, such as attending workshops or seminars focused on effective cross-cultural communication. Additionally, I will explore resources and training programs on utilizing interpretation services and language support tools to overcome language barriers effectively. To foster interdisciplinary collaboration, I will actively engage in team-building activities and promote open and respectful communication with colleagues from different disciplines. Moreover, I will incorporate reflective practices into my routine, regularly reflecting on communication experiences to gain further insights and identify areas for growth. By implementing this action plan, I aim to continuously improve my communication skills, ensure patient-centered care, and contribute to a supportive and effective healthcare team in the emergency department.


  • Cooke, J., & Waring, J. (2015). “Something in the way she moves”: Exploring the social relational context of patient safety in maternity care. Sociology of Health & Illness, 37(3), 449-465.
  • Hsieh, W. F., Rehman, S., Krishnan, S., Salvatore, A., & Mooradian, M. J. (2019). Barriers to communication during trauma resuscitation: Qualitative analysis of mobile phone video data. BMJ Quality & Safety, 28(4), 293-298.
  • Leonard, M., Graham, S., & Bonacum, D. (2017). The human factor: The critical importance of effective teamwork and communication in providing safe care. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 13(Supplement 1), i85-i90.
  • Ramanujam, R., Lin, S., Bernstein, P., & Lee, J. E. (2020). Communication in emergency departments: The complexity of teamwork coordination. Human Communication Research, 46(4), 381-406.
  • Turner, P., Cooper, S., & Smith, H. E. (2018). Teaching emergency management through reflective practice: A systematic review of the literature. International Emergency Nursing, 38, 34-39.

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