Reflective practice in nursing


Howatson-Jones, L. 2010. Reflective practice in nursing. Exeter Learning Matters.
AuthorsHowatson-Jones, L.

This book provides a method for developing analytical skills through different ways of using personal and professional reflection for learning and developing as a practitioner. The purpose of the book is to introduce the novice and more experienced practitioner to a number of models and frameworks for reflection and ways of integrating personal and professional reflective insights. The aim is to assist you to develop a sense of agency in your own learning by developing the scope and depth of your reflection to include biographical aspects. The reason for this is to help you to develop a lifewide as well as lifelong view of learning and reflection that can sustain your practice and you as a practitioner.

This book should be viewed as offering practical guidance to becoming reflective and will be particularly useful for those starting out on such a process, or wanting to try different methods. As you and your reflection develop so too will your interest and reading to include ever more complex concepts and professional experience. In the following chapters you are encouraged to examine your experience and learning within the reflective process through case studies, scenarios and activities that are rooted in the realities of practice and learning. This will help you to cope with the uncertainty of developing as a professional in a constructive way.

Chapter One sets the scene of how reflection has come about and its relevance for the new student and developing practitioner. It identifies some potential benefits for the person, profession, patients/clients, organisation, society which reflection can bring. It is important for the novice and experienced practitioner to recognise the significance of reflection for effective practice and development of professional knowledge, particularly the fundamentals of practice.

Chapter Two emphasises that learning does not only take place through formal courses or instruction, but extends into all areas of life. This chapter invites you to review some of these areas reflectively in order to extend learning potential. The focus here is on the types of knowledge produced through this reflective process and the ways of knowing that can develop and which are crucial to lifelong learning.

Chapter Three introduces the student and developing practitioner to autobiographical reflection as a way to help to advance nursing knowledge in more diverse ways. In this chapter you are invited to integrate autobiographical reflection and learning with a sense of your developing identity as well as to reflect on aspects of life that may be also be revealing of societal issues.

Chapter Four introduces some of the wide range of reflective models and frameworks that the student and practitioner can draw upon when first starting to structure and frame their reflections. The chapter also considers the strengths and limitations of these, to help you to choose appropriately.

Chapter Five introduces the student and developing practitioner to concepts of reflection as a transitional space in which you are encouraged to explore, develop and grow. As you progress more is expected in terms of knowledge, skills and decision-making. What makes spaces compelling for reflection and learning is a particular focus here.

Chapter Six examines how student nurses and developing practitioners can influence their experiences and how those experiences might influence them. It focuses on the role of reflexivity in developing opportunities for learning.

Chapter Seven invites you to cultivate a reflective approach to daily experience, and integrate what you are learning. It is important for students to be able to acknowledge limitations within their knowledge as well as to own potential mistakes and this chapter focuses on the concept of the fallibility of professionals and how to respond.

Chapter Eight considers how guided reflection and reflecting with others can deepen your understanding and analysis of situations, experiences and decisions, and offer support. The chapter also introduces ways of dealing with emotional residues of caring work.
Chapter Nine explores the purpose of reflective writing and introduces the student to a variety of techniques. You are encouraged to try out some different exercises to help develop this skill.

Chapter Ten emphasises the intense nature of critical reflection and its relevance to developing the skill of criticality. You are encouraged to consider your personal contributions and that of others to the development and outcomes of experiences.

KeywordsProfessional standards, reflection
PublisherLearning Matters
Output statusPublished
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jan 2011
Place of publicationExeter
SeriesTransforming Nursing Practice
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