Clinical Reflection

Reflection on work placement (mental health case)
Student Name
Institution Affiliation
Depression is categorized as a mood disorder that often leads to feelings of loss of interest
and sadness. It is known to highly affect the way a person thinks, behaves or feels. It is attributed
to a variety of physical and emotional problems that affect the way one lives or responds to issues
in life (Schulz & Arora, 2015). The following reflective study aims at presenting the challenges
encountered while dealing with a 30-year-old divorced man with two teenagers who were
reportedly disturbing the peace of his neighbors in his residential area. The patient was presented
with complains of angry outbursts and irritability that threatened those who lived around him. He
was also reported to have physical problems, agitation, and anxiety of unexplained origin. In
addition, the patient had also lost a few pounds of weight owing to the loss of appetite and sleep
disturbances. The reflection deals with the complications associated with handling such an
individual and distinguishing that from people who mean intentional harm for the people around.
I have applied Gibbs’ reflective cycle which assists in writing the chronology of phases of the
activity or experience using structured headings (Oxford Brookes University, 2013).
During my clinical placement, we received a phone call from a concerned neighbor of one
of the residential areas on the outskirts of our main town. The concerned neighbor argued that the
man had lost control following the events leading to his divorce a few months ago. She is particular
thought that his neighbor had ‘gone mad’ and the team needed to take him to a psychiatry unit for
evaluation. We were dispatched to the scene with the team ready to take on what would present.
We found the man throwing items all over the house and his two teens could not believe what their
father was doing. We managed to restrain him though after a huge struggle. On examination, the
patient looked wasted and restless with obvious signs of clear lack of sleep probably for a few days
if not more. He was anxious and thought that we were taking him away from his children to kill
him. I immediately recognized this as signs of depression.
On the other hand, he continued throwing angry tantrums to us and the nurse who
accompanied us to the scene gave him chlorpromazine injection though with our help in restraining
him. The scene attracted many people in the neighborhood who came to witness what was
happening. Attempts to keep them away were in vain as the team was quite small. The presence
of neighbors in the compound made him react with anger and made attempts to free himself as he
thought the people would harm him.
In the beginning, I was so afraid when I heard of the violent nature of the patient. Upon
inquiry, I heard that the patient had not harmed any person which gave me the courage to
accompany the team to the site. Anxiety gripped me upon reaching the clients home as I did not
know how he would react when he saw us. The feeling was intensified by the faces of his two
teens who were holding each other while crying. At first, I thought we would need backup from
security officers but the rest of the team members said we would manage to control him. I moved
swiftly to calm the children and reassuring them that we would take care of their father
accordingly. I must admit that I felt good when I saw the rest of the team escorting the man to the
The incident brought forth a whole spectrum of experience that helped to shape my
response to other incidences that followed later. A few things went well during the practice and
were quite crucial in later days. The quick identification of the client as one having depression
helped in containing him as fast as possible. The action was taken without causing any harm to the
client. On the other hand, the action I took of calming down the children as well as reassuring them
was a great step. The children who were caught up in the confusion of their caregiver turning
violent needed more than calming them down. However, a few things went wrong during the
exercise and they formed a good learning platform. For instance, the cloud that came to witness
the scene was uncontrolled that made the client suspicious. The team failed to exercise caution in
approaching and handling a client who could harm them. In addition, no family member was
contacted to help talk to the man to avoid the scene.
Moreover, the children were left under the custody of their neighbor who assured our team
leader that she would take care of them as their father was being attended to. The uncontrolled
cloud brought confusion on the scene with some even blocking the ambulance from leaving the
premises. It was not easy to guarantee the safety of the client’s property as people started streaming
into his compound. Furthermore, leaving the children without the care of their guardian would
compromise their security and care would not be guaranteed. It is recommended that emergency
responders quickly detect signs of mental distress and apply the recommended techniques in the
process of de-escalating what could be potentially dangerous (Vibha & Saddichha, 2010).
Emergency responders continue to face a rising number of calls involving people with
mental and behavioral issues. Responding to such cases is likely to be instrumental to emergency
care as it affects a significant number of people. As for the case above, I do admit that I would
have called the security agencies to help control the people and manage the cloud. It would have
helped control the cloud and protect the client’s property. On the other hand, a family member
needed to be informed of the situation and participate in the process. The involvement of a family
member helps in coordinating care.
Action plan
The responders are the first contact and should make appropriate referrals to clients for
appropriate management. Situations like the one witnessed in the case above should not be
encouraged. If such a situation happens again, I would place enough team in place to make sure
the cloud is controlled should the situation cause a scene. On the other hand, I would make sure a
close relative is informed to accompany the team to the site or residence of the client. In addition,
safety measures need to be put in place to protect the property of the client even after he/she is
taken away for treatment by informing security agencies to provide the security. Developing my
leadership skills to help coordinate the team would also help a great deal.
Oxford Brookes University. (2013). Reflective writing : about Gibbs reflective cycle. Oxford
Brookes University, (Gibbs), 14. Retrieved from
Schulz, P. E., & Arora, G. (2015). Depression. Continuum (Minneapolis, Minn.).
Vibha, P., & Saddichha, S. (2010). The burden of behavioral emergencies: Need for specialist
emergency services. Internal and Emergency Medicine.

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