Communication Reflective Essay

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The purpose of this essay is to critically reflect, using Gibb’s reflective model (1998), on an event from practice where communication had a significant impact on the care of a woman accessing maternity services. Fictitious names will be used throughout to maintain confidentiality, in line with regulations set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2008).

One case that has been critical to my learning as a student midwife is that of Edivania; a 33-year-old Portuguese woman, who had lived in England for just under a year and had had her first child by emergency caesarean eleven years earlier in Portugal. I met her on delivery suite where she had self-referred in spontaneous labour, at 39 weeks. Before this she had, as documented in her notes, only accessed maternity and antenatal services three times. My mentor and I took over her care forty minutes after her arrival, when she was 4cm dilated, and were informed that Edivania expected to have a vaginal delivery. We were also made aware that she was unable to converse, as her understanding of English was limited. Edivania was single, and although a friend had accompanied her to the labour ward, acting as translator, she had to leave after two hours. This left me as Edivania’s only line of support; my mentor periodically came to check all was well but primarily remained with another women in our care. Although I do not speak Portuguese, I am fluent in another ‘Latin’ based language and could fortunately understand Edivania to a certain degree.

This experience was a mixture of frustration and relief. I felt both inadequate in communicating effectively to provide the best support for Edivania, but also a sense that, given my language skills, I was the most appropriate person on duty to truly make a difference. It was a very emotional delivery, actually making me

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