The Advantages and Disadvantages of Reflection in Nursing

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Reflection in Nursing


Reflective Practice3


Learning by mistakes through reflection3

Different approaches4

More confident5

Improving quality of care5

Clearer thinking6

Builds character6



Skills improved8

Beneficial to the next patient8


Lower self esteem9

Time consuming9

Over thinking10

Too self-critical10

Hinder the quality of care10




In this assignment the discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of using reflection in nursing practice is undertaken. Boyd and Fales, 1983 states reflection is "the process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self, and which results in a changed perspective"(p 3). Reflection entails identifying a predicament, asking questions, analysing evidence, examining suppositions and prejudices tackling emotional unease, taking into account other explanations and putting up with uncertainty (Boyd and fales'83). Reflection gives nurses a legitimate opportunity to regularly stop and think, in the midst of practice, with the intention of enhancing what already goes on in clinical practice.

In this assignment the author will use evidence from literature and a few examples from practice to support the advantages and disadvantages of reflection. The author will discuss these points under many different headings, which will be noted as the essay proceeds.

Reflective practice

Bulman (2000) suggests that reflection coerces nurses to confront incongruity and uncomfortable facts about their nursing practice, the organizations they work in and themselves. Reflective practice is an intentional event and takes both time and commitment. It permits the nurse to contemplate their experiences through the combination of theory with practice (Atkins and Murphy 1993, Rich and Parker 1995). The purpose of reflective practice is to take learning from either a

References: Atkins, S., Murphy, K. (1995) 'Reflective Practice. ' Nursing Standard. 9; 45:31-35. Boud, D. Keogh, R. & Walker, D. (1985). Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page. Boyd, E.M., Fales, A.W. (1983) 'Reflective Learning: Key to Learning From Experience. ' Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 23; 2:99-117. Burrows, D. (1995). The Nurse Teacher 's Role in the Promotion of Reflective Practice. Nurse Education Today, 15(5), 346-350. Carr, E. (1996). Reflecting on Clinical Practice: Hectoring Talk or Reality. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 5 (5), 289-295. Clamp C (1980) 'Learning Through Critical Incidents ' Nursing Times Oct 2: 1755-1758 Davies, E Glaze, J. (1998). Reflection and Expert Nursing Knowledge. In C. Johns, & D. Holly, M. (1987). Keeping a Personal - Professional Journal. Victoria, Australia: Deakin University. Jarvis, P. (1992) 'Reflective Practice and Nursing. ' Nursing Education Today. 12:174-181. Johns C (1995) The Value of Reflective Practice for Nursing.J. Clinical Nurs. 4: 23-60 Johns, C Kemmis S (1985) Action Research and the Politics of Reflection. In: Boude D et al (1985) Reflection Turning Experience into Learning. Kogan Page, London Mallik, M Mezirow J (1981) A Critical Theory of Adult Learning and Education. Adult Education 32: (1) 3-24 Newton, J Schon D (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. Josey Bass, San Francisco Shields, E Smith, C. (1995) 'Evaluating Nursing Care: Reflection in Practice. ' Professional Nurse. 10; 11:723-724 Street, A

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