Reflective practice is a process by which you: stop and think about your practice, consciously analysing your decision making drawing on theory and relate it to what you do in practice.
In practice, reflection can also be used if a situation you have encountered has impacted your thinking in some way. Did the situation make you feel uncomfortable or excitable in some way, how did the situation make you feel, or act?. Reflection is very important to develop your knowledge and skills you need to improve your practice and learn from critical incidents.
Why is Reflective Practice important ?
Learning is derived from an experience but it doesn’t just happen. For it to take place you not only need to participate in reflection, but you must also record it; e.g. for your continuing professional portfolio.
By thinking about what you are doing and why you are doing it is what turns your experiences into meaningful learning. If you are to become a reflective practitioner, you have to use that learning to increase your professional knowledge and skills to benefit of not only yourself but also your patients / clients.
Benefits to Reflective Practice?
- You may modify your actions, behaviour, treatments and learning needs.
- You will become more confident in dealing with critical incidents.
- As it can be a shared thinking process, it can enable the team to work more effectively and efficiently.
- Reflective Practice will enable you to develop and improve your knowledge base and skills.
- Engaging in reflective practice should help to improve the quality of care you give and close the gap between theory and practice.
How do I use it where I work?
The following examples of reflective practice will give you an idea of the various methods you can choose from
Reflective workshops and Clinical Supervision
Use peers and experienced colleagues to help you review your practice, capture what you have learned from your experiences, and demonstrate your learning and its impact on your practice.
Reflective practice also works at an organisational level and can help facilitate insights that might otherwise be missed. Progress to some group peer review when you feel confident to do so.
Sharing your reflections within supervision is encouraged because:
- You can share your experiences and learning with other peers, so they can learn from you.
- You can gather others thoughts about your experience which can help you to draw out more from the experience.
- Having another's point of view takes away some of the subjectivity of reflective practice.