Introduction:

Reflective practice, describes the cyclical process of describing, evaluating and analysing a situation, such as a clinical experience, with the aim of clarifying knowledge and engaging in lifelong learning. By engaging in reflective practice, nurses continuously appraise their knowledge base, formulate learning goals, utilise the best available evidence to address knowledge gaps, and develop an action plan to direct their future learning and practice improvements. Purpose of assessment: The purpose of this assessment is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the subject content, and your ability to contextualise theory to your clinical practice. Assessment task: For this assessment you are asked to reflect on your learning throughout this subject, and describe how it has impacted your clinical practice. Write a reflective paper in which you:

• describe how your values, attitudes and philosophies regarding assessment of the older person, have been influenced by your learning to date

• outline how you have dealt with positive and negative experiences associated with patient assessment, as your knowledge base has evolved

• appraise your role within the multidisciplinary team and the extent to which it has been effected by your learning experience(s) 10 The Australian College of Nursing

• articulate any learning goals and action plans you have developed as a result of your reflection, which address knowledge deficits, inform ongoing continuing professional development and inform practice changes in your workplace. As this is a reflective essay, you may speak in the first person (I, me, we). It is also acceptable to include case examples from your clinical practice, but if you do this, please maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times. In a reflective essay you are still required to use evidence from the literature to support statements that you make and to support your discussion. Assessment criteria You will be marked against the criteria in the marking rubric for reflective essay. Assessment submission requirements All written assignments are to be submitted electronically via CNnect via TurnItIn and will be returned to you by your tutor in the same way. For information on submitting your assessment go to the Student Support Centre in CNnect

‘Reflective writing:

A user-friendly guide’, British Journal of Nursing, vol. 25, no. 16, pp. 936-937. How this subject will benefit your practice: Australia’s increasing ageing population means the demand for competent aged care registered nurses (RN) will also increase. This subject, which involves the application and integration of theory to practice, will assist RNs to develop skills in holistic and multidimensional health assessment, the cornerstone for ensuring the delivery of appropriate and effective health care to older people. Baseline and ongoing assessment identifies current, emerging and potential problems, and facilitates interventions to prevent significant functional decline and inappropriate placement for older people. Aged care nurses practice on a continuum between wellness and illness in a multidisciplinary environment. A healthy ageing approach is promoted in aged care because of its emphasis on dignity by maximising independence in daily living, Subject information and assessment booklet 3 maintaining and restoring health, preventing and minimising the disabilities of acute and chronic illness, allowing older people to maintain control of their life and maintaining comfort until death. The development of assessment skills, knowledge, the unpredictable manifestations of the ageing process and the variable causes of disease in older people are essential to ensure these are achieved.

Learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject it is anticipated you will be better able to:

• analyse and discuss normal ageing and the associated physiological changes that occur and apply this knowledge to the interpretation of clinical assessment findings

• differentiate normal ageing processes from abnormal pathology in the interpretation of clinical assessment findings

• analyse the current theories of ageing and discuss the implications of each of the major theories for the assessment and management of the older person

• describe methods of clinical assessment and apply them to clinical practice

• critically analyse the use of clinical assessment tools in gathering data to make informed decision in relation to nursing care

• critically reflect on EBP in relation to current literature and evidence in assessing and planning care for the older person

• demonstrate ability to identify and analyse health risks and problems that require ongoing management from a comprehensive clinical assessment of an older person 

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