Essays on reflective practice in social work


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Reflective practice is an important part of your career progression on paper, but if done well, can greatly improve your skills as a health care provider. The authors declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the content of this report. Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article. Published online 15 June National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Reflective practice in health care and how to reflect effectively

International Journal of Surgery. Published online Jun Jafree , BSc c. Daniyal J. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. E-mail address: ku. Received Mar 31; Accepted Apr 1. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Reflective practice is a paper requirement of your career progression in health care. Introduction Reflective practice is something most people first formally encounter at university. What to reflect on This can be anything. For example: Postoperative complications Missed diagnosis A dissatisfied patient Failed procedure However, reflecting on things that went well can often be more rewarding and be just as useful.

For example: A well-managed cardiac arrest An interesting seminar or conference A patient thank you letter A difficult but well performed procedure. Stages of reflecting There are numerous models for reflections, but it is important to understand why you are asking each question and how that will help you to reflect 1. How did it make you feel—your emotional state What was running through your head and how did you feel about it? Why did it happen—making sense of the situation Now you have thought about the situation in greater detail, and probably recognized things that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, think about why things happened as they did.

Could you have done anything differently—critical review and development of insight With the help of hindsight how would you have managed the situation differently? What will you do differently in the future—how will this change your practice This is arguably the most important stage in reflecting.

Re-enforcement—what happens when you put this into practice Test your reflections: When comparable situations happen again, do things change as you would expect them to? How to make the best use of reflective practice As mentioned previously most people see reflective practice as a tick box exercise, but it does not have to be. An example to put this into practice Bad I was involved in a patient confrontation; the patient was unhappy with her hospital stay and wanted to be discharged home.

Good Who, what, and why I was involved in a patient confrontation; an elderly patient was unhappy with hospital stay and wanted to be discharged home. How did it make you feel At the time I felt rushed and frustrated. Why did it happen The morning ward round was quite rushed and so our explanation was limited to telling her we were waiting for social services.

Could you have done anything differently I think my explanation was very good, and the patient seemed happy with this, although I did not give a rough idea of how long this would take. What will you do differently in the future I think that the route problem in this situation was our explanation on the morning ward round. Re-enforcement I will reflect on how future situations similar to this develop, looking for an improvement in the quality of my patient care. Conclusions To summarize, the benefits of reflecting are clear: it may be difficult to do initially, but through practice you will develop your own skills and become a better learner.

Conflict of interest statement The authors declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the content of this report. Footnotes Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article. References 1. Gibbs G. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; I began to understand the importance of utilizing the tools that were available to me long before I knew what it was actually called.

In , I grappled with being a broke student and year-old single mother of two.


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  • Introduction;

I juggled diaper changing and textbooks and felt overwhelmed with the demands that were either placed upon me, or that I had placed upon myself. I needed a way to make sense of it all, so I began to write a few lines every night about my placement, theories and methods, thoughts, fears, and achievements.

This helped me to really focus on what the issues were. Not being a natural academic, I found this very useful. About a month later in a seminar, I learned that I had been documenting my learning experience and that this was an essential tool for every student. I have now kept eight years of practice diaries—all strictly confidential, of course, but boy, you should read the contents! Some are highly emotional and not very productive excerpts. Others are productive and insightful. I look at how I, and others around me, have grown in competence and thoughtfulness through this process.

I see the clarity, harmony, and satisfaction. When I feel this way, it is almost as if I have lifted above the situation. I am able to see below and think laterally about the potential impacts of my actions, before, during, and after an event. I add that a major part of working in child protection is the responsibility placed upon us as practitioners and team leaders to make good decisions. We can, with reflection, be able to accurately describe in progress notes and through assessments what has led us to our decisions and critically analyze our practice without feeling the burden of blame.

The framework works in a sequential and cyclical order and is very easy to follow and recommended for first-time reflective practice. So what? What was my role? So, what did I base my actions on and what was going through my mind as I acted upon them? So, what could I have done differently?

So, what is my new understanding of this situation?

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The broader issues now need to be examined if this action is now to be successful. Once we have done all this, we can look at the end of this cycle by asking ourselves: Now what might be the consequences of this action? I also see great value in drawing or mapping situations that are complex and in need of a good sorting out.

In one of my previous positions, we used a visual mapping technique in looking at one particular child whose needs were complex. The map was huge.

Writing a reflection

It covered a wall. Everyone really got into drawing and describing different ideas over the course of about a week. This type of free association whet many an appetite and allowed us to think creatively and outside of the boxes that we can often get stuck in when working in child protection. Having spoken to many workers involved in child protection, I have found that we all have different ways and levels in which we reflect.

Critical Incidents

Some use a log, mapping techniques, and supervision or verbal accounts and discussions within teams to thrash out the problems to get differing opinions and ideas. We can, with this level of discussion, learn a great deal from each other and ourselves.


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    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work
    essays on reflective practice in social work Essays on reflective practice in social work

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