Health care is undoubtedly one of the noblest professions, and that is the reason, thousands of aspirants chose health care as their choice or career every year and enroll themselves onto different healthcare courses. However, healthcare is a people centered profession influenced by a variety of different external and internal factors, and hence the health care professionals often face a number of key challenges when they have to apply their theoretical knowledge in the practical scenarios. The placement program is the wonderful opportunity for the health care professionals to get a clear idea of all the variables of a real world health care scenario and attempt to link their own theoretical knowledge to application building expertise in their chosen domain (Levett-Jones, Pitt, Courtney-Pratt, Harbrow & Rossiter, 2015). This assignment will attempt to reflect upon the placement experience I have received and how it had helped me in my professional growth.
I had been given the opportunity to attend the placement program in the esteemed calvary health care Bethlehem in Caulfield. This health care facility had been provided an exceptional and commendable quality of care since the year of 1885. It is a nonprofit catholic health care organization established by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. This health care organization caters to the Victorian community with supporting more than 4000 patients and their families every year; with the mission of providing compassionate and quality care to the patients at all stages of their lives. This pioneer health care facility specializes in two areas, progressive neurological diseases and specialist palliative care services (Services at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem., 2017).
I had been given the opportunity to experience the health care environment of the palliative unit of the health care organization during my placement program. This division of the health care facility is focused on the patients who have a progressive incurable disease, and provides both residential and at home support to these patients that are in the end of life stage of life. The main goal of the palliative unit of the health care facility is to provide an optimal end of life acre to the patients so that they can achieve dignity, comfort and sense of safety during his or her stay in the facility (Palliative Care - Calvary Health Care Bethlehem., 2017). Considering the patient population of this division of the health care facility, close to 40% of the total patient population receives end of life care in the palliative units of the health care facility. The staffing ratio if the patient population of the palliative unit is 5:1, where on nursing professional has the responsibility of 5 terminally ill patients (Calvarycare.org.au., 2017). The initiatives taken by the palliative unit for achieving the ultimate goal of maximizing the quality and patient centeredness of the care include devising and supportive GP and primary care team, community palliative day care centre, management of distress symptom, providing necessary equipment and home based care in critical situations, proper patient and family education, and 24*7 telephonic assistance (About Us - Calvary Health Care., 2017).
A critical incident analysis evaluates and analyzes the a particular critical incident occurring in a health care scenario, reflecting upon the professional, moral and legal issues that arise in the scenario. The critical incident that I encountered in the placement program had been involving a 65 year old patent named Jessica day with unresectable chondrosarcoma in the left thigh that had started to infiltrate the outer muscles. The patent had been referred to the palliative unit right away to plan for an end of life care plan for the patient. However within a few weeks of her stay, a critical incident occurred where the patient developed paresthesia and acute pain in the backside of the infected thigh and leg. The pain score as assessed by Abby scale of pain management had been 8 out of 10. Now, the critical incident had been handled in accordance with the WHO guidelines of cancer pain management. She had been prescribed oral dose of morphine 10 mg quarterly, and along with a concoction of 400 mg ibuprofen and 500 mg paracetamol had been prescribed in a quarterly manner as well. However, the patient was only relieved from the pain for a few hours, after which the pain returned again; however along with that the patient started feeling increasing numbness in the leg and she started experiencing anxiety and insomnia.
It has to be understood that the patient had advanced cancer and had been undergoing neuropathic pain and the care facility had the lack of correct mechanism to manage neuropathic pain. This sincere professional issue had been prevalent in the case study, although as the care facility did not have a specialized advanced oncology department, and the patient had not been in a condition to be moved the patient, the only intervention technique possible had been utilized.
The patient had wanted to be removed from the ICU unit and off the analgesic treatments, however despite the legal mandates of patient centered care; this particular wish of the patient could not be fulfilled due to the fast deteriorating condition of the patients. However, the care pan had been decided on with accordance to the personal preferences of the family members of the patient. However the patient had been given the opportunity to spend her last few days with her family in the palliative unit, so that morally the best experience could be given to her.
On a concluding note, it can be stated that the palliative unit of the calvary health care facility had been an exceptionally compassionate care service and they prioritize the welfare of the terminally ill patients above everything. Although in my placement experience, the critical incident I encountered could have been better managed if specialized oncology care training to the staff had been given in the facility. I have gotten the opportunity to understand the complexities that can arise while working in the palliative units, and will work towards professional growth that will enable me to handle such situations much more efficiently.
About Us - Calvary Health Care. (2017). Calvary Health Care. Retrieved 7 November 2017, from
Palliative Care - Calvary Health Care Bethlehem. (2017). Calvary Health Care Bethlehem. Retrieved 7 November 2017, from
Services at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem. (2017). Calvary Health Care Bethlehem. Retrieved 7 November 2017, from
Levett-Jones, T., Pitt, V., Courtney-Pratt, H., Harbrow, G., & Rossiter, R. (2015). What are the primary concerns of nursing students as they prepare for and contemplate their first clinical placement experience?. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(4), 304-309. Doi:
Calvarycare.org.au. Retrieved 7 November 2017, from