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Reflection is a method of personal response to experiences, procedures, situations or new information. And also a “processing” segment where thinking and learning take place. Reflective thinking demands that identify, that bring valuable knowledge to every experience.
Therefore, it helps to recognize and clarify the important associates between what already know and what you are learning. It is a way of helping you to become an active, alert and critical learner. (“Reflective Writing Guide | UNSW Current Students,” 2019)
Advantages of Reflective Practices
- It improves self-esteem through learning.
- Encouraging nurses to reflect encourages professional development, which will reflect in healthier care for the patients.
- It facilitates addition of theory and practices and generate nursing knowledge and encourage holistic, individualized and flexible approached of caring.
- It delivers a tool or mechanism through which they can communicate and validate the importance of practice and practical knowledge.
- It encourages critical thinking and it helps to nurses to progress decision making.
Disadvantages of Reflective Practice
- Reflective practice may reason to psychological stress.
- Feel frustrated when solve problems that were identified during reflection.
- Frequently reflect on negative issues.
- The process can be manipulated to meet the predictable outcomes of the practice.
However, it is important for nurses to note that the little practical approaches and techniques for reflective practice that have been discussed are far from being a complete guide to the process of reflection. To practice indication based nursing it is imperative for all nurses to involve in reflective practice. (Oluwatoyin, 2015)
Models of Reflective Practice
Comprehensive frameworks for reflection have been offered by theorist for nurses to select from such as flows
- Gibbs (1998)
- Benner and Wrubel (1989)
- Kolb (1984)
- John Dewey (1933)
- Johns (2000)
- Ghaye and Lilyman (2006)
- Driscoll (2000)
Gibbs Reflective Cycle
In 1988, the American sociologist and psychologist Graham Gibbs published his Reflective cycle model in his book “Learning by Doing”. Gibbs Reflective Cycle encourages people to think methodically about the experience they had throughout a specific situation, incident or activity.
This often makes people think about an experience, movement or event in more detail, making them alert of their own actions and better able to adjust and change their performance. By looking at both negative and positive impacts of the event, people can learn from it. Using a circle, reflection on those experiences can be organized in stages. The Gibbs Reflective Cycle starts with five steps, at Description, Feelings, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion and end at Action plan, to finally return to Description.