Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle

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Details of task Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle

This assessment is an exploration of your experience and learning in the immersive simulation of week 11 using Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle.

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle
Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle

Word limit: 2500 words including references
Value: 35%
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Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Sample Answer



Reflective practice has been shown to close the gap between practice and theory, thereby improving the quality of care. This is because people critically think about their actions and experiences to learn what they will do better in the future.  Gibbs reflective cycle is the most preferred model for reflection because it encourages systematic thinking process about an experience or activity.  The model was developed by Professor Graham Gibbs and is useful in helping reflective practice. The model comprises of 6 stages including; a) Description, b) feelings, c) evaluation, d) analysis, e) conclusion, d) action plan. This essay is a reflection of my experience in an oversee hospital (Health Academy, n.d.).

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Description

I was visiting an overseas country for some religious function where I fell ill. I was rushed to one of the healthcare facility in the region and was admitted for further check up. I was given a bed in a shared room with many other critically ill patients. The ward was very crowded and noisy as most of the patients have visitors beside their bed. The Ward looked more like a recreational center more than a healthcare facility. It seems like there was no limit to the number of visitors that made the room crowded. The room was so crowded that some few visitors were sitting on the floor and some were even singing. I was issued with a bedpan to use for urine elimination, but it is hard to pass urine as the room was too crowded, and there were no curtains around my bed that I can draw to have privacy. The beds were not comfortable, and instead of using white bed sheets for patient’s bed, they use colorful bed sheets.

After waiting for few hours, the doctor finally came to check me. He did not greet me or at least introduce himself when he arrived. He just hastily performed physical examination and left. He is non-English speaker who made it difficult for us to communicate. The doctor-patient relationship was awkward, and he avoided eye contact. Consent was taken by the resident nurse when she came to take blood pressure. After a few minutes, the doctor returned to explain some medical procedure that I was expected to undergo. I did not understand what he was saying, so he asked the visitors in the room if there was anyone who was fluent in English to help with the translation.  A random stranger offered his help and came to translate the procedure. The medical procedure involved injecting a needle in my spinal cord to collect some sample. I did not like this practice as it compromised my confidentiality and dignity. This experience was shocking and uncomfortable. The anxiety made me call for help from a close friend.

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Feelings

This experience was shocking and uncomfortable. I felt frustrated that I was put in such scenario. I was annoyed because I was powerless to do much about the situation. I was upset by my inability to confront the healthcare staff in front of the visitors. I was angry that the doctor did not bother to develop a good rapport with his patient. He understands the importance of patient’s dignity, then why did he allow a stranger to translate my medical condition. The situation left me distressed that made me ring my friend for moral support. It is only when I reflected on the experience and realized that good healthcare service is not a routine to many but a privilege.  Although I felt hesitated, I knew that it was essential to reveal the mistakes on time so as to improve the quality of care being delivered in this healthcare facility.

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Evaluation

The only good thing observed is that this is a small healthcare facility and that the staff seemed to work as a team and communication between them was easy. However, the facility was understaffed, and one nurse was expected to handle more than five patients. I was not happy with the care provided in this healthcare facility. My main concerns were of the wrong quality of services; for instance, there was no privacy as the ward was noisy, crowded and I could pick some stale smells such as smell of urine. We served pureed food in plastic dishes did not provide any feeding aid even for patients in critical conditions.  Moreover, lack of patient’s dignity is dehumanizing experience and frustrating. The two medical staffs that I interacted with were cold and uncaring.  All these internal and external factors were not in agreement with a healing environment that supports inherent healing capacity of patients and their healthcare providers.

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Analysis

I believe that the healthcare systems are developed to stimulate and support the healing capacity of the patients. An effective healing environment is described by people’s relationship and the surrounding circumstances. Human beings are multidimensional and complex such that their healing involves cohesion of the mind, body, and spirit. Also, individuals are significantly influenced by their physical environments. Therefore, a holistic healing calls for a patient –centered approach (Smith et al., 2013).

These facts are supported by Florence Nightingale environmental theory. Based on this theory, disease is health restoration process, and the staff has a major role in balancing the internal and external environments to facilitate quick recovery from the disease. Providing suitable environments for patients includes an environment with proper ventilation, heat, noise, free from bad odors and with appropriate lighting. The quality of space and privacy is dear to me and other patients I believe. Surprisingly, I noticed that the healthcare facility was crowded and dirty. The spaces between beds were too small that it could not accommodate the visitors appropriately. Other restrictions observed include lack control over the lighting and noise made by the visitors. No safety net is put in place in this healthcare facility, which made it difficult to control one’s emotions and pain (Sakallaris et al., 2015).

Another barrier noted during this experience is cultural and language barriers. From my knowledge, no assessment was done, they did not ask about my values or beliefs. In fact, the staff seemed distance and disinterested. To deliver quality care, the healthcare providers must appreciate the fact that culture plays an important role on the patient outcomes. Culture is complex as it includes shared beliefs, values, traditions and in some cases language. Each encounter with a patient is an opportunity to learn about another different culture and to understand the cultural aspects that should be integrated into the patient care plan (Weaver et al., 2013).

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Conclusion

Patients have high expectations whenever they access healthcare. From my experience, the healthcare staff in healthcare facility lack clinical professionalism and particular imperative clinical skills. They need to polish their cultural competence to improve their focus on nursing care. This is because of organizational culture, as well as its staff attitudes plays a vital role in delivering of care. Therefore, effective and quality care starts with the staff because spot checks and regulations cannot mitigate poor care (Hatah et al., 2015).  Also, patients need to talk openly about the nursing care they receive. I should have voiced my opinion to the relevant authorities.

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Action plan

Respect and dignity are some of the core healthcare professional values. The healthcare staffs are expected to comply with the patients and to understand their needs, priorities, and abilities. Some of the action plans that can be adopted by the healthcare facility include undertaking refresher training on how to engage patients in their care plans. This includes introducing themselves by their names during their first encounter as it helps to create a good rapport between the patient and the healthcare providers (Huisman et al., 2012). To improve communication between the healthcare providers and patients, the healthcare staff should undergo training so that they can understand the importance of addressing the patients respectfully and to remain culturally competent. Also, the administration needs to understand the importance of developing a healing environment. Human dignity and confidentiality are also important aspects for each patient. The organization should hire a translator who can help with translation instead of asking a total stranger to translate as this is breach of patient’s privacy and confidentiality (Weaver et al., 2013).

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Critical reflection

In my opinion, the healthcare facility that I attended needs a transformational leadership so that they can focus on patient healing and establish culture excellence. Healthcare facilities are driven by their commitment to promoting healing and health creation (Neck & Manz, 2012). Therefore, they must develop appropriate structures, healthcare processes as well as resources that stimulate and support the healing process using deliberate positive relationships, shared decision making as well as person-centered care planning. The healthcare organizations should learn to prioritize and optimize the well-being of their patients (Spring et al., 2015).

Patient’s wholeness is congruence of the mind, body, and spirit experienced through their interactions with the healthcare providers. Therefore, healing process is operationalized by the environment. The healing relationship is established deliberately and calls for skillful communication and attention to the clinical relationships (Sakallaris et al., 2015). Another critical skill important for healing process is trust. Trust develops slowly and is a consequence of respect, integrity, and kindness. To inspire trust, it requires congruency between personal morals and the healthcare disciplinary or professional ethics. Mindful training has been shown to improve clinician resilience and to enhance their communication skills and consequently improve physician-patient relationships that result in better patient outcomes (Medeiros, Enders, & Lira, 2015).

Social support is also important in improving patient well-being. There is substantial evidence on the effect of social support from healthcare staff, and the family reduces mortality and improves health outcomes (Strom & Egede, 2012).  However, the healthcare providers need to establish the limit on the number of people visiting patients at a time. This will help create a healing environment and reduce cross infections incidents. It is important to establish a balance between the physical environments and social support that does not affect other patients (Medeiros, Enders, & Lira, 2015).  An unlimited number of visitors per patient results into overcrowding that may result to noncommon aspects important to patient’s health such as aeration. Also, overcrowding in the ward also influences the sanitary conditions of the ward as it makes it difficult to maintain hygiene or cleanness and about lighting and spread of contagious infections. Another common issue presented with poor healing environments includes unnecessary noises that are dangerous to the patients. It disrupts a piece of mind and may cause increased agitation (Erenler et al., 2014).

From this experience, I also learned that culture greatly influences health. Culture refers to the pattern of ideas or behaviors shared by certain group of people in the society. Culture is diverse and continuously evolving, but their evolution rate varies from culture to culture (Hatah et al., 2015). When in a foreign country, cultural shock occurs and the struggle between cultures and in balancing between understanding the new cultural values and respecting their own. For instance, I found the hospital staff cold and unfriendly. I later came to learn that not looking directly in the eyes when talking to another person is a sign of respect. Also, they are not unfriendly but that how they present themselves to people that they respect. However, it would also have been appropriate if the healthcare providers had explored other cultures so that they can learn and integrate the patient’s cultural values during care (Iwelunmor, Newsome, & Airhihenbuwa, 2014).

One approach to understanding culture is to check if it is ‘individualist’ or ‘collectivist.’ Understanding the difference between the two will help the healthcare providers to learn the best strategies during care planning. Evidently, the influence of culture on patient outcome is vast. This is because it affects people’s perceptions about disease, beliefs, causes of illness and health promotion approaches (Hatah et al., 2015). Understanding patient’s cultural value is important to prevent cultural bias associated with healthcare perceptions and preferences. Increasing awareness of cultural values helps the healthcare providers to negotiate the differences and to incorporate them during diagnosis as well as a treatment plan. If the healthcare providers in this healthcare facility are trained, they will demonstrate awareness of their culture; promote trust and better patient’s outcomes (Weaver et al., 2013).

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Conclusion of reflection

The recognition of patient strong beliefs and incorporating them in healthcare improves patients trust and their satisfaction. Developing care plans for more ethnically and diverse populations should include cultural competence. Healthcare practice is a continuous process that is based on relevant physician knowledge and appreciation of cultural influences that affect care (Hatah et al., 2015).

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Conclusion

This experience was frustrating and distressing but very informative. Healthcare providers should be trained to augment their ability to care for the diverse society.  The healthcare practice is a lifelong learning process, and health care providers must learn to integrate new culture into their care plan. Also, it is important to improve knowledge on the principles of holistic care and that of a healing environment.

Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle References

Erenler, A. K., Akbulut, S., Guzel, M., Cetinkaya, H., Karaca, A., Turkoz, B., & Baydin, A. (2014). Reasons for Overcrowding in the Emergency Department: Experiences and Suggestions of an Education and Research Hospital. Turkish Journal of Emergency Medicine, 14(2), 59–63.

Hatah, E., Lim, K. P., Ali, A. M., Mohamed Shah, N., & Islahudin, F. (2015). The influence of cultural and religious orientations on social support and its potential impact on medication adherence. Patient Preference and Adherence, 9, 589–596.

Health Academy. (n.d.). Teaching reflective writing. Retrieved from

Huisman, E. R. C. M., Morales, E., Van Hoof, J., & Kort, H. S. M. (2012). Healing environment: A review of the impact of physical environmental factors on users. Building and Environment, 58, 70-80.

Iwelunmor, J., Newsome, V., & Airhihenbuwa, C. O. (2014). Framing the impact of culture on health: a systematic review of the PEN-3 cultural model and its application in public health research and interventions. Ethnicity & Health, 19(1), 20–46.

Medeiros, A., Enders, B., & Lira, A. (2015). The Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory: A Critical Analysis. Escola Anna Nery, 19(3), 518-524.

Neck C.,& Manz C. (2012). Mastering self-leadership: Empowering yourself for personal excellence (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sakallaris, B. R., MacAllister, L., Voss, M., Smith, K., & Jonas, W. B. (2015). Optimal Healing Environments. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4(3), 40–45.

Strom, J. L., & Egede, L. E. (2012). The Impact of Social Support on Outcomes in Adult Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review. Current Diabetes Reports, 12(6), 769–781.

Spring, B., King, A., Pagoto, S., Van Horn, L., & Fisher, J. (2015). Fostering Multiple Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors for Primary Prevention of Cancer. The American Psychologist, 70(2), 75–90.

Smith, L. L., Lake, N. H., Simmons, L. A., Perlman, A., Wroth, S., & Wolever, R. Q. (2013). Integrative Health Coach Training: A Model for Shifting the Paradigm Toward Patient-centricity and Meeting New National Prevention Goals. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 2(3), 66–74.

Weaver SJ, Dy S, Lubomski LH, et al. (2013). Promoting a Culture of Safety. In: Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); Mar. (Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 211.) Chapter 33. Available from:


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