Portfolio is a collection of evidence, usually in written form that presents personal and professional development, by providing critical analysis of its contents (McMullen, et. al., 2003). A portfolio captures learning from experience, enables to measure learning, acts as a tool for reflective thinking, illustrates critical analytical skills and evidence of self-directed learning and provides a collection of detailed evidence of a person's competence (Gray, et. al., 2004). For Dewey, reflective thinking consisted of two parts: a state of doubt and a search to resolve that doubt. Thus, constructing a portfolio is an act of revealing one's beliefs. At the heart of portfolio development is purposeful choice making (Davis, et. al., 1997). This portfolio has been written as a part of the Post Graduate diploma in neonatal intensive Care nursing. The author will begin by providing an overview of reflection and mention the models used to guide this process. For the purpose of reflection the essay shall be written in the first person. I will reflect on one specific incident that I encountered in my experience as a neonatal nurse in one of the maternity hospitals which, I will analyse and discuss how it affected my practice. I will conclude by summarising my thoughts and reflections. For the purpose of data protection I have used pseudonyms when referring to those involved in the incident. 2.0. Reflection
Nursing reflection, whether in research, teaching or clinical practice has increasingly become a cornerstone of nursing professionalism. Reid, (1993) defined ‘Reflection’ as a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so, inform learning about practice. Kemmis (1985) agrees with Reid that the process of reflection is more than a process that focuses 'on the head', he argues it is a positive active process that reviews, analyses and evaluates experiences, draws on theoretical concepts or previous learning and so provides an action plan for future experience. Schon (1987) considered a utility for reflective thinking in that cognitive practice has a direct relationship to practices within professional realms (teaching). Johns (2000) describes critical reflection as “a window through which the practitioner can view and focus self within the context of his/her own lived experience in ways that enable him/her to confront, understand and work towards resolving the contradictions within his/her practice between what is desirable and actual practice”. The limitations of reflection as a mode of learning have been highlighted by, Platzer, et. al. (2000) who noted that students may be resistant to revealing self, a point also highlighted by Cotton (2001) that reflection becomes a type of surveillance, assessment and control. Schon (1987) identifies two types of reflection: reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action. Reflection-in-action occurs when the person reflects on behaviour as it happens, so as to optimise his or her immediately following actions. Reflection-on-action is reflection after the event, allowing the person to review, describe, analyse and evaluate the situation, so as to gain insights for improved practice in the future. Van Manen (1991) uses the term re-collective reflection which he compares with Schon’s reflection-on-action. He also describes anticipatory reflection (reflection before the event) which ‘helps us to approach situations and other people in an organised, decision-making, prepared way’. He asserts, however, that reflection-in-action cannot take place as we usually do not have the time or opportunity to reflect. Mezirow (1981) addresses the issue of reflective practice that is significant in learning from practice when he discusses the issue of 'perspective transformation'. He suggests that there are two ways of achieving perspective transformation: A 'sudden insight' into the way we see ourselves or the world. For example, you may suddenly...
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