Reflection allows for more practical career growth as it means that nurse associate can act on their learning, makes it possible for the code to become the subject of the action and strengthen the quality of treatment provided to patients. It increases understanding of one-self and desires to change. (Collins et al., 2015) My reflection is based on the Gibbs (1998) reflective cycle. The Mother and child is the field of nursing I am reflecting on.
One morning on my alternative placement, I was observing a health visitor examining a mother who had brought her baby to the clinic. The purpose of the visit was to ensure that the health visitor would do a new baby review within 10 to 14 days of the birth. (DH, 2009) which included the baby girl’s physical examination and development review. The parent had the opportunity to voice all mother and child concerns. It also allows the health visitor to provide a health promoting guide on safe sleeping to avoid the syndrome of infant death, vaccinations, breastfeeding for babies and bottle feeding.
The health visitor obtained consent before commencing the consultation in line with the NMC code of conduct (2018). I was introduced by the health visitor to the mother and asked if I could take part in the consultation, and she agreed. The baby’s mother already knew the health visitor because of her three- year- old son’s previous clinical appointments. The son was playing with his toys in the room. I spent some time playing with him to keep him occupied so that the mother could focus on the baby and answer questions of the health visitor.
The health visitor asked the mother how she was coping with the baby and the rest of the family. She used her observational skills to assess how the mother was coping with her baby. The mother stated that she was alright, although she felt tired. The husband was helpful around the house. The mother was concerned that her three-year-old son had become insecure since the birth of the baby, since the baby got the most of the attention, not him.
The health visitor asked the mother how she was feeding the baby and whether she had been getting enough sleep. The mother expressed no concerns for the baby and herself. The baby appeared alert, content, sleeping well. The health visitor was constantly observing how relaxed or worried the mother might be, indicating whether she could maintain a conversation while interacting with her baby and paying attention.
The health visitor concluded to by informing her of the importance of continuing to use the baby clinic for weight checks and directed the new mother through the personal child health record book provided after the baby is born, used to monitor the baby’s weight, height and vaccinations. (NHS, 2020) The mother may also add information to the red book such as recording any injuries, baby accidents and any medication the baby is taking.
I was grateful to have been able to assist during the consultation. I enjoyed playing with the son; at first, I was very apprehensive and gradually seemed to have gained his trust. I was impressed to see how well the mother was managing with the baby and her three-year-old son. The health visitor had evidently developed a good rapport with the mother, which helped her to communicate effectively. I also felt that this helped the mother to allow me to stay in the room and being open to me observing the consultation and play with her son.