Critical Incident Reflective Writing Assignment

Reflection Upon A Critical Incident Essays

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Reflection has its importance in clinical practice; we always seek to be successful and that can be achieved by learning every day of our life through experiences we encounter. In that way we can reconsider and rethink our previous knowledge and add new learning to our knowledge base so as to inform our practice. Learning new skills does not stop upon qualifying; this should become second nature to thinking professionals as they continue their professional development throughout their careers (Jasper, 2006).

In keeping within current legislation on the protection and respect of an individuals’ right of anonymity, (Polit and Beck 2007), and to confidentiality, (Munhall 2007), any and all possible identifiable characteristics of the…show more content…

One research summary listed on AHRQ website under patient safety is a device that has potential in reducing the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) (Collard & Saint, 2010). Continuous aspiration of subglottic secretions (CASS) is an apparatus that has been shown to decrease the incidence of VAP in certain patients. Included in this piece is a description of VAP, how CASS can help improve patients at risk for VAP and a patient care situation regarding clients receiving mechanical ventilation.

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
Pneumonia is the second most common hospital-acquired infection and is the leading cause of death due to nosocomial infection in the United States (Augustyn, 2007). A patient who is intubated with an endotracheal tube (ETT) is at increased risk of developing pneumonia. The bacteria colonizing the oropharynx can move into the lower respiratory tract because the ETT provides a direct route into the lower airway (Craven & Hjalmarson, 2010). This type of pneumonia is called ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), it occurs in patients receiving mechanical ventilation for an extended period of time. Ventilator associated pneumonia can be categorized as either early-onset or late-onset. Early-onset VAP occurs between 48 to 96 hours and is usually caused by Haemophilus influenza, an antibiotic sensitive community-acquired organisms (Collard & Saint, 2010). Late-onset VAP is caused by

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Sample Reflection Assignments


Critical incidents journal

Ask students to record a critical incident for each week of the service project. The critical incident refers to events in which a decision was made, a conflict occurred, a problem resolved. The critical incident journal provides a systematic way for students to communicate problems and challenges involved in working with the community and with their teams and can thus help in dealing with the affective dimensions of the service experience.


Directed readings

Directed readings are a way to prompt students to consider their service experience without a broader context of social responsibility and civic literacy. Since textbooks rarely challenge students to consider how knowledge within a discipline can be applied to current social needs, additional reading must be added if this is a learning objective of the course. Directed readings can become the basis for class discussion or a directed writing.


Directed writings

Directed writings ask students to consider the service experience within the framework of course content. The instructor identifies a section form the textbook or class readings (i.e. quotes, statistics, concepts) and structures a question for students to answer. For example, “William Gray has identified five stages of a mentor-protégé relationship. At what stage is your mentoring relationship with your protégé at this point in the semester? What evidence do you have to support this statement? In the following weeks, what specific action can you take to facilitate the development of your mentoring relationship to the next stage of Gray’s continuum? A list of directed writings can be provided at the beginning of the semester or given to students as the semester progresses. Students may also create their won directed writing questions from the text. Directed writings provide opportunity for application and critical analysis of the course content.



Encourage formal/informal discussions with teammates, other volunteers, and staff to introduce students to different perspectives and to challenge students to think critically about the project.


Ethical case studies

Ethical case studies give students the opportunity to analyze a situation and gain practice in ethical decision-making as they choose a course of action. This reflection strategy can foster the exploration and clarification of values. Students write a case study of an ethical dilemma they have confronted at the service site, including a description of the context, the individuals involved, and the controversy or event that crated an ethical dilemma. Case students are read in class and students discuss the situation and identify how they would respond.



Interview students on service experiences and the learning that occurred in their projects.



Ask students to record thoughts, observations, feelings, activities and questions in a journal throughout the project. The most common form of journals are free-form journals. The journal should be started early in the project and students should make frequent entries. Explain benefits of journals to students such as enhancing observational skills, exploring feelings, assessing progress and enhancing communication skills. Faculty should provide feedback by responding to journals, class discussions of issue/ questions raised in journals or further assignments based on journal entries.



Ask students to select and organize evidence related to accomplishments and specific learning outcomes in a portfolio. Portfolios can include drafts of documents, analysis of problems/ issues, project activities/plans, photographs, videos, and annotated bibliography. Ask students to organize evidence by learning objectives.



A way for students to share their service learning experience with peers is to make a class presentation through a video, slideshow, bulletin board, panel discussion or persuasive speech. Ask students to present their service experience and discuss it in terms of concepts/theories discussed in class. This is an opportunity for students to display their work in public format. A similar presentation can be offered to the community agency as a final recognition of the students’ involvement.


Structured class discussion

Structured reflection session can be facilitated during regular class time if all students are involved in service. It is helpful for students to hear stories of success from one another. They can also offer advice and collaborate to identify solutions to problems encountered at the service site.


Structured journals

Use structured journals to direct student attention to important issues/ questions and to connect the service experience to classwork. A structured journal provides prompts to guide the reflective process. Some parts of the journal may focus on affective dimensions while others relate to problem-solving activities.


Team journal

Use a team journal to promote interaction between team members on project related issues and to introduce students to different perspectives on the project. Students can take turns recording shared and individual experiences, reactions and observations, and responses to each other’s entries.


Adapted from Campus Compact, Types of reflective activities that can be used in service-learning projects, retrieved from (accessed October 26, 2015) and “Tried and True Teaching Methods to Enhance Students’ Service-Learning Experience” complied by Professor Diane Sloan, Miami Dade Community College.

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