The what reflection and reflective practice can

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The Nursing
& Midwifery Council competencies (2016) states that, reflection and
evaluation demonstrates commitment to personal and professional development and
lifelong learningiii.
The definition of reflection is not one that all can agree on due to the
different interpretations of what it really means to reflect. One of the most
famous definitions comes from the originator of the concept of reflection John Dewey
(1933). However, there are still many other definitions being used today.


This essay will
aim to provide a clearer understanding of the different models and theories of
reflection and reflective practice, and how they are applied in nursing
practice. In the first part of the essay, the author will do this by providing
various arguments to support this, through the use of different theorists and
models such as, Dewey and Graham Gibbs(200) to illustrate some models of
reflective practice. This will be able to highlight the blatant similarities
and differences between the theorist, and create an analytical argument that will
provide an insight on the different schools of thought within reflection and
reflective practice. Also, examples will be used to demonstrate how these theories
can be applied in nursing practice thus giving the reader a better


The second part
of the essay will create more of a personal atmosphere, as the author will use
one of the models they discussed and relate it to an event or incident that
they have experienced. They will also evaluate their specific experience to
demonstrate one of the key features that is expected of an individual within
nursing practice which is self-evaluation. This will also relate to the aim of
the essay.

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Lastly, the
author will summarise all arguments that they discussed and conclude what
reflection and reflective practice can do.


According to
the nursing, reflective practice is defined as the process of making
sense of events, situations and actions in the workplace. Critical analysis and
evaluation skills are crucial when doing this because this can also include
certain events you may be involved in as a nurse. One of the rules in the NHS
code of conduct is to put others needs before your own, which makes reflective
practice a lot harder than it seems. However, when relating reflective practice
to everyday life, it’s easier to be self-centred about certain situations. For
example, there may be an incident where someone calls them out of your name so
they decide to retaliate, not realising the negative impact they have made on
that individuals life. Or there may have been a time where someone asked them
to borrow money to help provide for their child and they said no. But they
didn’t stop to think if there was anything they could do to help in their time
of need. Although it is easier to do the thing that suits them best, the other
individual may have had a hard life which has caused them to put them in that
position. The next action could be their breaking point which is why It is so
important to reflect before you act on something. A little action can change
the whole outcome of the next scenario of a situation or even your life.


Some of the
history of reflective/ reflection practice comes from the theories of John
Dewey and Donald Schön(1983). Dewey began his theory in 1933 when he created
How We Think which made a unique impact on education. He defined reflective
thought as ‘active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or
supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that’s support it and
further conclusions to which it tends’ (Dewey 1933:118)iii.
Dewey set out 5 aspects to support this which also links with David Schön’s
view of reflective practice. As it showed that teachers focus on problems and experiment
with solutions. However, the two theorists differ in some elements of their
argument as Schön develops the art of reflection as opposed to the theory.


Another part of
the reflective history comes from the reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action
thesis. Reflection-on-action focuses on new ways of learning how to share ideas
and think collaboratively about practice. Reflection-in-practice summons
practices where everyone can have a say which leads to better decision making.
It is also useful as it makes up for times when it may be difficult to reflect
with colleagues.


There are two
types of reflection reflective practice: theories of reflection and models of
reflective practice; to guide reasoning about the action or situation. The use
of reflective practice creates a system ideas on how to reflect on ones’
actions and engage in a process of continuous learning. This has been deemed as
useful in the workforce, especially in nursing practice. Studies have shown
that when nurses take time to reflect on their experiences, they are more
likely to provide professional nursing care as they are more understanding of
their actions which develop their skills. This shows that reflective practice
is vital within nursing practice as it provides a more suitable environment for
the employees and the patients.


Models of
reflective practice were invented to create suitable reasoning for the current
situation or action. There are several models to display this. For example,
Christopher Johns’ based his argument on 5 key questions that he believes will
allow one to break down their experience and reflect on the process and
possible outcomes. Johns’ suggest that one should ‘look in on the situation’
which identifies that they should pay attention to their own feelings and take
note on the ones that seem significant. He also speaks about the aesthetics of
the situation which also involves the feelings of others, what they were trying
to achieve and why they responded the way they did. This allows opportunity for
them to recognise all the different feelings they may feel in certain
situations and work on how to overcome also allows them to identify the
feelings of others and take it into consideration.



 Similarly, In Graham Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle,
he introduces the idea of thinking about the important moments of the event and
what sort of feelings they felt during the experience. By doing this, they will
be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses during hard situations and
work on how to improve it.  By contrast,
Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (1995) believe that during the thought process,
they should think about what they can identify about themselves which other
people also identify. This is essential as it allows them to take constructive
criticism and improve on the things that they may see but other people don’t.
all these theories will be beneficial in nursing practice as it introduces
flexibility and the ability to try something new.


Using these
models allowed me to reflect systematically on a personal incident that
happened to me, and the lengths I went to evaluate my actions and the situation
itself. About three years ago I had an explosive argument with my friend, as
she got a new boyfriend and I felt as if she was changing and didn’t want to
spend time with me. I didn’t tell her how I felt in the beginning, as I didn’t
want to be a hindrance to her happiness or relationship. She seemed extremely
happy and I didn’t want her to be upset. Overtime, things started to get out of
hand and we started to argue which was very weird because we never used to. A
few weeks later, I received some information that her boyfriend had not been
faithful so I decided to tell her but she didn’t believe me. In fact, she
thought I made it up because I didn’t want her to happy which was the last
thing I wanted her to feel. Eventually, I decided to end the friendship out of
frustration. Not thinking about the detrimental value, it could have on her, as
she had previously lost her other friends due to the same reason. Later on, she
discovered that I was in fact telling her the truth so she ended the
relationship, and now she was left alone. After that incident. I would see her
walking to her classes alone. We would sit next to each other in science but we
never used to speak to each other. Even on the day of our prom, she was all
alone, I did feel bad but I still did nothing because part of me felt like she
deserved it. I felt like she hurt me by not trusting me so now she should know
how it feels to be without me.



 I believe like my incident related most to
Johns’ Model of reflection as I was able to identify how I felt at the time. Although
I did not take my feelings into consideration at first, I built up the courage
to speak to her and tell her how I was feeling. As I took it upon myself to
identify the feeling that mattered most and act upon it. I could have strengthened
this by not pushing my feelings to the side at first and allowing them to
heighten. However, I don’t believe I followed the aesthetics of Johns’ theory.
As I did not handle her feelings the same why I handled mine. Even though I had
good intentions, I should have told her how I felt in the beginning and also
explained why I was reluctant to tell her. Instead, I let it get to a point
where the friendship became toxic. At this point, my feelings were not fully
identified enough for me to handle the situation maturely and effectively.



strength of this incident is that I attempted to take her feelings to account.
I identified her happiness and tried to keep the situation as positive as
possible in order to maintain a healthy and happy atmosphere. Which is vital in
johns’ theory as he states that one should acknowledge how others are feeling.
One way I could have expanded on this strength further was by taking everyone’s
feelings into account and not just hers. This enhances Johns’ message of
looking in on the situations and grasping my thoughts and emotions. By
contrast, a major weakness in this incident is that I allowed someone to remain
un-happy and I didn’t think about the consequences of the other individual.
This act did not correlate with how I wanted her to feel. Despite the fact that
I was angry, I didn’t want her to be un-happy. The minute I realised what I
observed from looking in didn’t correlate with my aesthetics, I should have
tried to figure out what I could do to change that.


Overall, this
author discussed some important elements of reflection/reflective practice
throughout the essay. They presented various definitions of reflection and
reflective practice to display the different interpretations of the theory and
models of this subject. They used several examples to sum up the different
elements of reflective practice and related it to nursing practice to relay the
importance of the essay. The author presented a positive stance towards the
subject matter throughout as they continuously identified the importance of all
the attributes reflection and reflective practice has. They thoroughly
discussed the different models of reflections from the different schools of
thought and explained the importance of each of them to elaborate on the impact
they feel these models can have on someone in nursing practice. Lastly, they
used their research on the theories to evaluate their own personal incident and
assessed the strengths and weaknesses of their actions. They did this by
writing about how they can improve their strength and change their weaknesses
into a strength.


In conclusion,
the author believes that reflection and reflective practice is vital within
nursing practice because not only does it create a pedestal for professional
nursing. It breaks any barriers towards communication between the nurse and the
patient. This theory enhances the six C’s in nursing as it carefully demonstrates
that in order to fulfil the models of reflection effectively you have to
contain attributes such as compassion, communication, courage, commitment,
competence and care. Thus, highlights the importance of it due to it involving
something nurses are told to put at the core of everything they do.




Categories: Decision Making


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