Reflective practice

Reflective practice is considered to be one of the cornerstones of adult learning. It is a vital skill for students to learn as it will assist them with their lifelong learning10. Reflecting on one’s own practice allows for recognition of their strengths and weaknesses, determining actions required to improve their skills and developing clinical reasoning skills to ensure the delivery of safe patient care13.

Reflective practice is an effective process to develop self-awareness and facilitate changes in professional behaviour. Examples of how reflective practice is conducted include:

  • During structured supervision sessions the student provides the supervisor with an overview of an issue or incident and the supervisor uses questioning to encourage reflection on its meaning, alternative approaches and plans for future action.
  • Reflective journal/record keeping is a self-directed activity, where the student is encouraged to record their experiences, work through the issues and reflect on their learning. They can then use this as a tool for discussion with their supervisor or to keep as a record of their learning.

There are many models of reflective practice that can be used in supervision. One such model is Gibbs’14 model of reflection.