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Reflection

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is the noblest; second by imitation, which is the easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

(Confucious)

Theoretical Frameworks

Becoming a Reflective Practitioner : A Reflective and Holistic Approach to Clinical Nursing, Practice Development and Clinical Supervision
Author: Johns, Christopher.
Publication: Oxford [England] ; Malden, Mass. Blackwell Science, 2000.
Product ID: 52743
eBook ISBN: 0632063378
ISBN: 0632055618
Subject: Nursing--Philosophy. Holistic nursing.
Language: English

Refresher Activity

Here are some of the qualities which have been identified as being required of a practitioner who engages in reflective practice:

  • a willingness to learn from what happens in practice
  • being open enough to share elements of practice with other people
  • being motivated enough to 'replay' aspects of clinical practice
  • valuing that knowledge for clinical practice can emerge from within, as well as outside clinical practice
  • being aware of the conditions necessary for reflection to occur
  • a belief that it is possible to change as a practitioner
  • the ability to describe in detail before analysing practice problems
  • recognising the consequences of reflection
  • the ability to articulate what happens in practice
  • a belief that there is no end point in learning about practice
  • not being defensive about what other people notice about one's practice
  • being courageous enough to act on reflection
  • working out schemes to personally action what has been learned
  • being honest in describing clinical practice to others

Reflect on where you are doing well and in which areas of reflection you need to strengthen your day to day practice. 

Practice based activity

Whilst developing this programme, a newly qualified practitioner described the challenge of finding time for reflection once you qualify as:

"….when you are a student there is a lot to think about, but there is also time to do it. When you qualify there is so much more to think about and less time to do it."

Consider this comment in relation to your past month in practice, how easy has it been to get time to reflect on your practice?


Do a self-assessment on how you are managing to reflect within your new role. Discuss with your mentor ideas to embed reflection into your daily practice, without compromising the time you have available for treating patients. Develop an action plan to support you achieving this, and keep a note in your portfolio to review the impact this is having on your practice and confidence.

Web Search - Reflection

Carry out a web search for articles relevant to your current area of practice, try using the key words Reflection; Improving practice. Remember to put sites that are particular interest into your favourites and create a reminder to return to them regularly.

Reflective Activity

Select two of the points cited by Driscoll & Teh (2001:99) which would be most appropriate for you to develop further at this stage in your career. Develop an action plan on how your will achieve this, with review dates. Add this action plan to your portfolio and make a note of your review dates.