Reflections and Supervision: Caring for the sick and elderly Conclusion References Introduction Reflective strategies are used to enhance professional observation of the work experience with others and it enhances clinical supervision…
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Reflections and Supervision: Caring for the sick and elderly Conclusion References Introduction Reflective strategies are used to enhance professional observation of the work experience with others and it enhances clinical supervision. Reflection is a process of generating meaning from experiences by considering actions taken with the aim of improving upon future decision-making (Jasper, 2003). Reflective strategies help in identifying gaps in knowledge, skills and learning needs. Reflective strategies also help in analysing communication and relationships with colleagues. Reflective strategies examine decisions taken and are essential in order to identify errors made during decision-making and steps to be avoided when making future decisions. One strategy which the author has used herself for reflection in her work place is clinical supervision. In the future, she would like to consider the use a reflective diary as well. The following discussion will be contextualized both in terms of relevant literature and postings in the MOODLE Discussion Forum by this author and various contributors commenting on the usefulness of a “reflective diary” and the value of “management and supervision” of the nursing practice. As the MOODLE postings show, practice may be perceived as benefiting from reflection and supervision. Not everyone agrees, however. Nevertheless, postings on this and the issue of supervision are a very useful way of entering on a discussion of their benefits. Reflections and Supervision: Caring for the sick and elderly “Reflective practice is associated with learning from experience and is viewed as an important strategy for health professionals who embrace life-long learning” (NHS Guidelines, 2006). Reflecting upon one’s work or practise as a nurse is thus essential (Nursing Standard, 2011; Jasper, 2003). When finding oneself in a difficult situation, one may benefit from stopping and taking time to reflect on what just transpired with the goal to learn from a past mistake in order to make amendments and adjustments to be able to do things differently next time (Johns, 1995). Reflecting upon one’s own position in a certain work process that typically involves a team that has to interact to produce a beneficial outcome, scrutinizing one’s own emotions and the way one often “balances” between the demands of biology and medicine and the needs of the sick one cares for as a nurse is fundamental to ensure “best practices” (Bowling, 2009). Keeping a “reflective journal” or a “reflective diary” are effective reflective techniques (Heath, 1998, pp. 592-598). Other useful reflective strategies include mentoring, clinical supervision, appraisals, handovers, meetings, group supervision. These means imply an evaluation of skills and enhance learning. The author of this essay has herself benefited from reflecting on her practice and various factual events when she was a student nurse, recording her private experiences, emotions, thoughts and views in a “reflective diary”. Once a qualified nurse, she abandoned the use of this important tool but has again come to realize its great benefit for nurses in always attending to the above-mentioned distinction and the uniqueness and humanity of each patient. “I have overlooked the reflective diary in my experience as a qualified nurse at junior level, even as a unit manager. I felt limited by it, and if one loses the diary all the data are lost. After doing the APEL module, my focus is totally different. From the 1st of Feb 20011 till my retirement I am determined to reflect on my practise, use a reflective diary and make a secure electronic copy of it” (“Reflective Diary”, this author, MOODLE Discussion Forum, 24 January 2011). There is wide agreement on the Forum on the usefulness of the diary (cf. Rolfe et al., 2001). One contributor notes that she qualified as a nurse a long while ago and not until
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