The reflection undertaken needs to demonstrate learning and application to your own practice, and it needs to satisfy the competency and demonstrate insight. In terms of conclusions, you may draw from your reflections, although these maybe deemed as your personal interpretations they need to be based on evidence you observed. It is essential that you look at the competency in the curriculum library as the ‘considerations’ section can help you. You don’t have to cover all of the areas in considerations, and you can consider other things not listed as your reflection will be unique to you and your experiences. Overall, the reflection should consider the topic area set out in the competency. You may want to discuss this with your training officer.
It is good practice to “take a step back” and consider situations from different perspectives; this enables us to gain further insight and develop our own practice. Asking questions of the person you are shadowing helps you gain that greater understanding as to why they may have undertaken a task or approached a situation in a particular way; this knowledge can in turn enhance your own reflections. Remember reflection is about learning from an experience; so looking at this in a multifaceted way is going to lead to a richer outcome.
The resources are open to anyone and can support you in developing your reflective practice skills, regardless of which curriculum you are following.
Reflective practice can help you in making sense of situations and to learn from your experiences. There will be times when you are reflecting on situations which may make you feel angry or upset; taking a step back from the situation can help you make sense of it and learn from it. We can get trapped in the situation if we do not reflect, we can lose sight of the meaning and become enveloped by the emotion of it. Reframing the situation can really help, you will experience conflict with others at some point, whether with colleagues or patients; although you cannot control the actions of others, you can consider ways in which you could take control of similar situations in the future and deal with conflict. Other situations may feel uncomfortable but treating them as learning opportunities can really help you move forward, for example if you don’t pass a particular assessment. In order to glean the learning from negative situations you may need to address this in stages:
- Very early on you might record what happened and how you felt about it; then you may…
- Take a step away and return to it to re-evaluate it after you have released the raw emotion of it, then you may…
- Identify what learning you can take from it and take action.
Quotes from the resources (module 1, page 2) which reinforce this are shown below.
“Reflective action is bound up with persistent and careful consideration of practice in the light of knowledge and beliefs, showing attitudes of open-mindedness, responsibility, and whole-heartedness.” (Hatton & Smith,1995).
“Reflection is a discursive way of creating a space for focusing on problematic situations and of holding them for consideration without premature rush to judgement.” (Hoyrup & Elkjaer, 2006).
The materials have been designed to support you with your work-based activity and learning. Rather than duplication, it is more accurate to see it as reinforcement and enhancement. Reflective practice is a skill which requires development and so the more opportunities to practise and hone this skill the better. At university you may be doing this by reflecting after undertaking a presentation to your peers or after feedback on an essay. In the workplace this will be on practical experiences as a trainee healthcare scientist.