The nursing literature related to reflection in nursing education is plentiful. The impact of reflection on the development of critical thinking is agreed (Cooney, 1999; Durgahee, 1997; Hannigan, 2001; Rolfe, 1998; Smith & Jack, 2005; Taylor, 2003), but its impact on the client’s experience of care has not been evaluated (Burton, 2000; Cotton, 2001; Hannigan, 2001). The following exemplars of student reflections provide anecdotal evidence that reflections enable the nursing students to consider and alter their practice to enhance the client’s experience.
These exemplars indicate the power of reflection as a tool of practice. They demonstrate the students’ courage, humility and willingness to be vulnerable. By considering the power of their roles, these nurses have been able to change their behaviour in ways that benefit the client.
Annie Zeng is confronted by the inherent values of her heritage (Maalouf, 2000) and her responsibility to create a partnership with the client and the client’s family. Simon Latimer experienced being the outsider looking in and gained valuable insights into his own personal relationships. Shirley Bevan’s reflection and consequent action transformed her practice and provided comfort for the deceased woman’s family.
Entering the world of the client brings privileges and responsibilities, as students make their way towards emerging as the culturally safe practitioners.
Burton, A. J. (2000). Reflection: Nursing practice and education panacea?. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 31 (5), 1009-17
Cooney, A. (1999). Reflection demystified: Answering some common questions. British Journal of Nursing, 8 (22), 1530-1534.
Cotton , A. H. (2001). Private thoughts in public spheres: Issues in reflection. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36 (4), 512-519.
Durgahee, T. (1997). Reflective practice: Nursing ethics through story telling. Nursing Ethics, 4 (2), 135-146.
Hannigan, B. (2001). A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of ‘reflection’ in nursing practice and education. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 10 (2), 278-283.
Maalonf. A. (2000) On Identity, London: Harvill Press.
Rolfe, G. (1998). Beyond expertise: Reflective and reflexive nursing practice. In C. Johns & D. Freshwater (eds.), Transforming nursing through reflective practice, pp. 21-31, Oxford: Blackwell Science.
Smith, A., & Jack, K. (2005). Reflective practice: A meaningful task for students. Nursing Standard, 19 (26), 33-38.
Taylor, C. (2005). Narrating practice: Reflective accounts and the textual construction of reality. Journal of Advanced Nuising, 42 (2), 244-251.
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