A reflective learning log

A reflective learning log is an important piece of evidence created by a student to support the practice educational outcomes for each placement. The learning log procedure is carried out on a regular basis and includes examples of knowledge gained by the learner through identified training challenges (Moon 2013, p.3). Furthermore, the record outlines the pupils' progress and plans for future learning units. As a result, the student acquires essential evidence that demonstrates achievement of developmental practice outcomes that are reviewed by a mentor to provide valuable feedback about performance in practice about complex care placement. It is in light of this fact that it will be produced a reflective learning log on midwifery (Durall et al. 2017, p.7).

The reasons for choosing midwifery as the reflective essay topic is because midwives provide better results compared to family physicians or obstetricians. The midwives are less likely to involve complex procedures such as episiotomies, epidurals, augment labor, or continuous fetal monitoring, but instead apply clinical concepts that facilitate smooth delivery of a newly born baby.

GIBBS Framework

The paper will implement the Gibbs model widely used in clinical settings. The justification for the model selection is due to its clarity, preciseness and also facilitates description, analysis, and evaluation of experiences hence enabling the medical practitioner to acquire insightful clinical skills. According to Langford et al. (2014, p.72), through the framework, the practitioner is prompted to structure an action plan that propels reflective medics to dwell more on their practice and assess aspects that they would like to modify and how best they can improve on the practice.

Stage 1: Self-Awareness

My personality is that one of an individual who is always brave and willing to take risks provided that I am confident with what I am doing. Personally, I understand different nursing concepts. Midwives must always demonstrate emotional intelligence which is the ability to recognize their feelings and the people around them. Emotional intelligence entails managing concerns within and outside patient-doctor relationships and may also involve the capacity to conduct duties at an optimal level while possessing the capacity for motivation (Aradilla, Thomas, and Gomez 2014, p.69). An individual possessing higher levels of emotional intelligence is persistence during instances of setbacks and failures.

Stage 2: Description

When I had my clinical placement on the midwifery section, I was working under the guidance of my mentor, caring for a 34-year-old lady, Jennifer, who had just undergone abdominal surgery. During this day I attended an early shift, and when I arrived in the room, my mentor introduced me to the patient. Jennifer was in pain, and the sister was also present in the chamber. The patient seemed to be in lots of discomforts probably because of the labor pains. After going through the patient’s medical history, it came to our attention that she was experiencing her fourth pregnancy and previously she had experienced two miscarriages. All the births she had undertaken were conducted through the caesarean section. The reasons given for the caesarean was because Jennifer is a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Before escorting the patient to the theater for the caesarean, my mentor advised me to explain the procedure to the sister. The patient with the assistance of the sister signed off all the essential documents without hesitations. After some period, an anesthetist arrived and gave Jennifer the epidural. We also ensured that nobody or any foreign object was allowed around the area since the epidural must be 100 percent sterile. Immediately the epidural was inserted, the lady was taken to the theater, and her abdominal was dissected so that the baby could be delivered.

The baby came out, and during the time of delivery, it seemed that it did not have any life inside it. People inside the theater were surprised, and both my mentor and I had to intervene so fast. The midwife proceeded and explained to the entire crew inside the theater that when babies are born in meconium, they always require extra care and attention (Wilson et al. 2013, p.114). The child was under resuscitations efforts and medics were undertaking all procedures necessary to remove the meconium device from the child’s mouth and nose. Eventually, the child was alive, and the patient together with the newborn was discharged to the post-natal section of the clinic.

Stage 3: Reflection

During the theater operations, Jennifer persistently asked why the child was not crying, and after series of complex meconium procedures, the child started to cry. I grabbed the baby with my arms and showed it to the mother and sister and explained to them that a child born under such conditions must be taken to a special care section to ensure that their entire life is safe. After a couple of hours, Jennifer was transferred to the postnatal ward before eventually getting discharged.

Stage 4: Knowing

According to Jennifer’s pregnancy history, she always gives birth through the caesarean section. Children born through the caesarean section with their mothers typically experiences various complications and instruments such as the meconium must be correctly applied. During this time, when the baby comes out from the womb they are always very slippery and must be handled with extreme caution since the body is soft and full of fluids. Such a situational is very emotional, and as a medic, I should be bold enough to handle the tension that arises from the mother. The procedures being undertaken during such a circumstance must be culturally and medically oriented. Besides, the policies from the hospital must be tailored to accommodate varying medical conditions, and in this case, the medical staff should be polite, team players and effective communicators to explain the situation to all parties concerned without increasing unnecessary tension at the hospital's theater. Besides, Jennifer is a victim of FGM, and it is proper to understand that the previous vaginal narrowing or tightening could be one of the reasons that she could not naturally give birth.

Stage 5: Evaluation (Analysis)

From my observation, I can say that whenever the communication between the midwife and mother is open tension at the hospital theater level is kept to a minimal. The communication procedures applied by the midwife were adequate, and other important aspects that were involved when working with the patient included partnership, assistance, education, counseling, advocacy, and providing support whenever required. Besides, these are some of the roles that should be entrenched into a midwife's philosophical focus whenever undertaking a caesarean section. Such concepts should be interconnected with a midwife practices for strong support during a child’s birth (Chang et al. 2014).

Stage 6: Learning (Synthesis)

One of the issues that I have learned through my reflective learning log is that proper communication skills are imperative towards the success of any clinical operations regardless how complex it appears. I have also come to understand that being a team player assists towards understanding the dynamics of procedures required in a theater environment, and it is only through teamwork that encompasses ideas from the patient, nurses, doctors in charge, and the midwives that a successful operation can be easily conducted.

Besides, there was an instance when Jennifer’s sister requested for female only doctors, and my mentor and the midwife in charge tried explaining that inside a hospital everything about a patient is always kept confidential (Bahr et al. 2016). In certain cases, the issue of mixing gender during the operation appeared discriminatory in one way or another, and according to my opinion, the patient was worried due to her FGM status. However, the issue was addressed through an open and honest communication protocol established by my senior colleagues in the theater.


Generating this particular reflective learning log has enabled me to understand different intricacies of caring for a patient with a medical complication. In our case, female genital mutilation (FGM), that led into caesarean section during births. Jennifer required a lot of psychological and moral support considering this was her fourth time undergoing the procedure. It was also critical for the medical personnel to have the baby delivered on time and in sound health.

Previous practices such as FMG may have adverse effects on a patient’s health in ways currently not recognized by iconic organizations and health-care experts. It is, therefore, important that more research efforts should be channeled towards such health concerns to prolong the health of pregnant mothers and their newborn (Abdulcadir, Rodriguez, Say 2015, p.297).


Abdulcadir, J., Rodriguez, M.I. and Say, L., 2015. Research gaps in the care of women with female genital mutilation: an analysis. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 122(3), pp.294-303.

Aradilla‐Herrero, A., Tomás‐Sábado, J. and Gómez‐Benito, J., 2014. Perceived emotional intelligence in nursing: psychometric properties of the Trait Meta‐Mood Scale. Journal of clinical nursing, 23(7-8), pp.955-966.

Bahr, S.J., Siclovan, D.M., Opper, K., Beiler, J., Bobay, K.L. and Weiss, M.E., 2016. Interprofessional Health Team Communication About Hospital Discharge: An Implementation Science Evaluation Study. Journal of Nursing Care Quality.

Chang, S.H., Stoll, C.R., Song, J., Varela, J.E., Eagon, C.J. and Colditz, G.A., 2014. The effectiveness and risks of bariatric surgery: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis, 2003-2012. JAMA surgery, 149(3), pp.275-287.

Durall, E., Leinonen, T., Gros, B. and Rodriguez-Kaarto, T., 2017. Reflection in Learning through a Self-monitoring Device: Design Research on EEG Self-Monitoring during a Study Session. Designs for Learning, 9(1).

Langford, R., Bonell, C.P., Jones, H.E., Pouliou, T., Murphy, S.M., Waters, E., Komro, K.A., Gibbs, L.F., Magnus, D. and Campbell, R., 2014. The WHO Health Promoting School framework for improving the health and well‐being of students and their academic achievement. The Cochrane Library.

Moon, J.A., 2013. Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice. Routledge.

Wilson, J., Wloch, C., Saei, A., McDougall, C., Harrington, P., Charlett, A., Lamagni, T., Elgohari, S. and Sheridan, E., 2013. Inter-hospital comparison of rates of surgical site infection following caesarean section delivery: evaluation of a multicentre surveillance study. Journal of Hospital Infection, 84(1), pp.44-51.

Action Plan

Each time that I will be assigned a duty to address a patient needs, I will immediately embark on studies dwelling on a particular patient's health concern. Through such an approach I am better prepared to handle any emergency that may occur due to a patient's previous health complication (Nelson et al. 2015). I have also come to understand that being a team player and an effective communicator is paramount towards a clinical experience success (Mazurenko et al. 2016). I will improve my communication skills, become more of a team player, and always try to understand the patient's concerns before undertaking any procedures that are likely to affect him/her in one way or another (Peltier 2016). Besides, I will also try to incorporate the hospital's policies and philosophies when undertaking medical care for the patient.


Mazurenko, O., Richter, J., Swanson-Kazley, A. and Ford, E., 2016. Examination of the relationship between management and clinician agreement on communication openness, teamwork, and patient satisfaction in the US hospitals. Journal of Hospital Administration, 5(4), p.p20.

Nelson, E.C., Eftimovska, E., Lind, C., Hager, A., Wasson, J.H. and Lindblad, S., 2015. Patient reported outcome measures in practice. Bmj, 350, p.g7818.

Peltier, T.R., 2016. Information Security Policies, Procedures, and Standards: guidelines for effective information security management. CRC Press.

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