is how we learn from past experiences and in health and social care it simple
means having the capability to participate in a method of continuous learning.
It’s the ability to make sense of situations and actions that take place in a
health and social care setting considering morals, values and ethics.
Reflecting on your thoughts, past events and experiences is important because
it gives you a better understanding of what you are learning.
to Kolb (1984), reflection is an essential part of learning, we learn from our
experiences on everyday life and this method of learning trails a cycle
involving four stages. Kolb said we experience by doing something, we then
reflect and think about what we did, we conceptualise and make generalisations
and finally we make a plan based on our experiences.
(1988), reflective cycle which consists of 6 stages was developed from Kolb
(1984), learning cycle. He suggested that in order to bring about effective
reflection, one should be able to describe an event, explain their feelings,
evaluate on the situation, analyse what made sense, conclude on what could have
been done and finally device an action plan on what solutions to could be use
if the situation repeated. Gibbs (1988),
saw this reflection model as important because it discovered new ideas and
methods towards doing and thinking about things. This is important in health
and social care as it helps service providers to improve on themselves by
identifying their strengths and weaknesses allowing them to provide the best
are some studies that have supported the advantages of reflection in health and
social care. (Chapman et al, 2008) reflection in health and social care allows
health practitioners to share information and knowledge to advantage practice
and benefit practitioners into making sense of challenging situations. This promotes inter-professional and
multi-professional working which also allows them to acknowledge their strengths
and weakness and find solutions to enhance development. Reflective practice
improves mindfulness and good practice, Driscol (2006) advised that if
reflective practice was continuously supported then it would progress and
change healthcare for the better.
is an argument that there could be barriers that would not allow health
practitioners to be able to carry out effective reflective practice because of
the demand of work within the healthcare. There is not enough time for them to
take part in training because of the busy working environment and workload.
Another disadvantage could be that some practitioners or departments may not
see reflective practice as exceedingly preferred, others may be affected by the
culture of their department or simply because they are not as motivated.
In health and social care is based on people skills. Modern healthcare is too
complex therefore health practitioners are expected to think on their feet, be
presentable, organised and able to make decisions on the spot. When they
reflect, they develop more skills that enable them to make decisions and solve
problems. The dialogue of thinking and doing in order to be more skilful, good
practitioners think before they act, they think after they have acted, and this
is reflection. However, there are also some barriers that may affect the
promotion of reflective practice and some of these barriers can be overcome.
There are different approaches that can be used to bring about effective
reflective practice in healthcare as long as the main aims would be to improve
the care of service users.
Examine the role and
importance of critical reflection in health and social care to establish and
share good practice. (1500 words)
reflection is defined as a process in which an individual makes meaning or
sense of an experience that has happened or is happening. It involves being
very descriptive, logical and critical of the experience, paying attention to
the practical values and theories that affect the decisions and actions we
make. Reflection and self-reflection are both a form of communication that are
concerned with constructing a dialogue with ourselves. In order to do this, we
would have to step outside of ourselves and look at ourselves and the way we
work, looking at ourselves objectively and not being ego-centric. The role of
critical reflection is self-understanding and development. Health care
practitioners reflect on their opinions and actions and find ways of improving
them, by captivating a part in this process they are then able to reflect and
understand their own actions and progress them by using new approaches.
care professionals generally use reflective practice to provide the best
possible care to their service users. Gibbs (1988), saw that reflective
practice was important because it discovered new ideas and methods towards
doing and thinking about things. Gibbs (1988), reflective cycle which consists
of 6 stages was developed from Kolb (1984), learning cycle. He suggested that
in order to bring about effective reflection, one should be able to describe an
event, explain their feelings, evaluate on the situation, analyse what made
sense, conclude on what could have been done and finally device an action plan
on what solutions to could be use if the situation repeated. This is important
in health and social care as it helps service providers to improve on
themselves by identifying their strengths and weaknesses allowing them to
provide the best possible care. When health practitioners are able to progress
their own actions through critical reflection, it aids both themselves and
their work setting.
individual who reflects throughout his or her practice is not just looking back
on past actions and events, but is taking a mindful look at feelings,
experiences, actions, and responses, and using that information to add to his
or her existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding.
1983, framed a theory about reflective activity, knowing in action and
reflection in action. Schon explains reflective practice as the practice in
which practitioners develop to be mindful and aware of their implied knowledge
and learn from previous experience. In other words, a reflective practitioner repeatedly
reflects on experiences and can reflect in action, learn from that experience
in order to aid future actions. Reflection in action is reflecting on behaviour
as it happens at that moment although reflection on action is the act of
reflecting after the occasion has passed. Lastly, knowing in action is tacit
knowledge meaning its not easy to pass on to another person as its personal
knowledge learnt from your own experiences.
University of Leeds, Audiology Programme produced an article study on reflection.
The purpose of this study was to raise awareness of the importance of
reflection in clinical practice. They found that reflection was an active
process of reviewing, analysing and evaluating experiences. The study covered
Kolb’s (1984 0 and Gibbs (1988) model of reflection. These models promoted and
taught the students to become pro-active in their own learning and development
of professional practice. An advantage of this study was that it was well
evidenced in the health care field as it supported its findings by using
evidence from researchers and students were allowed to give feedback.
(Levett-Jones,2001; Duffy, 2009; Mann et al,2009), reflective skills
development and achievement can be greatly improved through experience and
feedback. The only disadvantage was that
its audience was mainly focused on students.
(1988), suggested there were four ways to critical reflection and these are
assumption analysis, contextual awareness, imaginative speculation and
reflective scepticism. Assumption analysis as the first step of the process
includes thinking or making decisions in a way that tests our beliefs, morals
and ethics. Contextual awareness is explained as our assumptions being socially
and personally formed from a past events and ethnic backgrounds whereas
imaginative speculation is visualising other ways of thinking about things such
as miracles and wonders and being able to contest our usual ways of thinking
and acting. Finally, reflective scepticism which is finding ways to make sense
of claims and other patterns of communication through assumption analysis,
contextual awareness and imaginative speculation.
teachers, professionals and researchers believe that critical reflection is
beneficial in terms of learning though it may also not be that easy to reassure
reflection between every individual. Gustafson and Bennett (1999) created a
study and found that encouraging reflection between military cadets through
written responses in their journals and diaries was hard and problematic. The
cadets were found not to be able to demonstrate any form of reflection. their
findings proved Stamper (1996) findings that promoting reflection was a hard
task to achieve.
and Bennett (1999) recognised three features that affected the cadet’s absence
of reflective behaviour and these were the learner, environmental and
reflection task. Having the capability to reflect is a learned behaviour which
is culturized by the learner over some time. The environment or atmosphere that
the learner is in can also affect their process of reflection and thirdly the
cause of the reaction will influence the quality of the reflection
role and importance of critical reflection in health and social care has proven
to establish and share good practice among health care professionals. The role
of critical reflection has benefited collaborative practice with difference
multi-agencies, multi-professional and multi-disciplinary teams. For example, social workers working along
side nursing home staff to provide person centred care, social workers are able
to share their knowledge with the nursing home team, this knowledge could be
from reflective practice as long as it provided the best possible care. Another
importance of critical reflection to share good practice is that health
professionals are able to use the criticism they may have come across in the
past events to help their colleagues who may be facing the same situation.
Other colleagues or health professionals may look at the situation and learn something
conclusion the importance of reflection and critical reflection is hard to
measure and usually underestimated, however it plays a very important role in
professional and personal development. Reflection allows health professionals
to make respectable decisions that benefit greater outcomes. Continuous
learning is essential in health and social care as it allows practitioners to
adapt and accept the changing roles in care. Allowing health professionals to
adapt improves what they can offer to their job thus proving the best care to
their service users. Reflection is utmost effective when other individuals,
teams or groups are involved as it gives a chance to collaborate, share ideas,
share good practice and find new ways of improvement. As much as critical
reflection can have a positive effect it can also have a disadvantage. Some
individuals may find expressing their thoughts and emotions difficult thus
making them feel exposed however working in groups can allow other members of
the group to support and reassure each other. This promotes collaboration and
team work and if health care practitioners are able to work together and
sympathise on each other they are prone to share good practice which benefits
the service users.