reflective writing essays nursing

reflective writing essays nursing

Reflective Writing in Nursing

1. Introduction

Gibbs’ model seeks to act as a map, with each step being a specific heading of the reflective process. This makes the model a little clearer to some and can be a useful way to sequence the reflective process. It begins with a description of the situation and the thoughts and feelings of the nurse at the time, as well as a clarification of the meaning of the thoughts and feelings. Step two is an evaluation of the event, both positive and negative. Step three concerns an analysis of the event. This phase can define the different levels of reflection, as it can be pragmatic. The nurse questions what they did, why they did it, and what

This essay will discuss several issues linked to nursing practice and the learning experience, using Driscoll’s reflective cycle to identify the elements of this process. It will look at how the nurse may use reflective practice to work through a practice problem, basically reflecting on it to develop a new action plan to improve their practice. Using Gibbs’ reflective model in its description, the essay uses critical analysis of an experience, such as a situation in which someone has made a derogatory comment about the nurse. It explores the nurse’s response to the comment, their feelings about the event, and a second call during which they were wishing to work through the situation and identify knowledge that can be used to improve future responses to comments of this nature. This essay uses a specific incident from practice.

Reflective writing is a way of processing and describing practical experience, in order to learn and develop through that experience (Bulman, 2004:1). It is a valuable skill to be cultivated, incorporating Kolb’s experiential learning cycle. It is understood that an event may result in an emotional response. The reflection upon this event and the emotional response it provoked can result in the re-evaluation of the event, possibly resulting in a change of behavior, skill acquisition, or the reinforcement of existing knowledge (Thorpe, 2004). Reflection is going to be a key part of my nursing career.

2. Benefits of Reflective Writing in Nursing

It has been suggested that reflective writing has many benefits for the individual who is engaged in a reflective writing experience. These benefits can be realized in the improvement of critical thinking skills and by providing an opportunity for self-development. Reflective writing is claimed to enable the writer to capture and examine their own experience, in contrast to objective writing, where the writer is not privy to the thoughts or experience of the subject. The experience of the reflective writing process is claimed to enable the writer to pay close attention to the event, to his own behavior, and to the context in which it occurred. This, in turn, can help the writer to identify and re-evaluate an event in a different light, which can lead to a change of understanding or behavior in the future. Reflection is also claimed to be a way of relieving the emotional aspects of an event. In some cases, this can lead to a deeper understanding of others and their needs. It can also be cathartic and lead to a release of emotional stress. Emotional intelligence is an important part of the nursing role, and reflective writing has been seen as a tool that can aid the development of emotional intelligence. Becoming more aware of one’s own emotions and those of others can lead to better understanding and decision-making in a clinical setting.

3. How to Write Reflective Essays in Nursing

Writing a reflective essay is a lot like writing a personal diary, but the diary is meant for others to read and it should be written in an analysis of the event, both good and bad, and what can be done better next time by the writer (Boud, Keogh, and Walker, 1985). An important part of this essay is to develop critical thinking. This can be done by jotting down questions that cross the writer’s mind.

Reflective writing in nursing can help students think systematically about enhancing work practices by viewing it from different aspects. It is a matter of thought that helps to describe an experience, a useful event. It will help to separate, define, recognize, and re-examine a particular experience. This might be a disease, a patient, a specific nurse intervention, or an interaction between the patient and nurse (Rolfe, Freshwater, and Jasper, 2011).

Reflective writing helps the students to gain insight into their own development. This is done through a thought process that supports improving their own actions, which is a source of personal and professional development. A reflective essay is a means of assessing the student’s level of depth in nursing experience. It is a practice of the learning process. Reflective writing is a strategy to achieve reflection. It is given a lot of importance as it is considered an effective way to develop critical thinking, which is expected to be the outcome of a graduate (Rowe, 2001).

4. Examples of Reflective Writing in Nursing

In the first example, the nurse has written a personal reflection of their experience during a clinical placement to help them examine how they felt during the situation. The nurse was assigned to an elderly female patient during a clinical placement, and the patient was awaiting transfer to a rehabilitation centre for recovery from a recent stroke. The patient’s daughter was present and appeared to be in good spirits. The nurse received the patient’s handover from the nurse she was replacing, which stated that the patient required a full assist to transfer using a two-person lift. When transferring the patient using a lifting device to a wheelchair, the daughter questioned why it was not safe to do a transfer with one person. Due to the lack of discussions with the patient during this decision, there were many assumptions made by the patient and the family. The student nurse’s action was based on the handover from the verbal report received. The nurse didn’t ask the patient or the family their thoughts about another lifting option and proceeded with a two-person lift. This created a conflict in the nurse as she would have personally preferred a different approach but had stuck to the care plan and not involved the patient in the decision process.

5. Conclusion

You should frequently implement and practice reflective strategies to constantly work on improving the way you work and thus improve the quality of care for your patients. Try to be aware of the events that make you feel uncomfortable – these are the events that challenge your way of thinking and provide you with an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Reflect on your actions – by doing this you are able to gain greater insight into why you made certain decisions and can then identify what was good and bad, so as to provide improved care in the future. By discussing your reflections with your colleagues you are sometimes able to look at an event in a different light, seeing things that you may have missed and therefore learning from others’ experiences. Reflective strategies are also an important way to identify any problems you may be experiencing while learning something new, for example clinical reasoning or the use of new equipment. By reviewing what you have learned and identifying any changes in your knowledge you can plan how to fill the gaps in your understanding, in turn improving safety in practice when providing care for your patients.

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