Reflective practice is important not only to do our work but to understand why we do it in a particular way.
Doing a job for a long time does not necessarily make us competent. Some people are in fact skilled at being incompetent!
To be competent and to work responsibly we need to understand the influence which our thoughts and beliefs have over what we do. We need to be aware of the impact of our words and actions on others. We need to be able to plan and apply our knowledge of how to undertake tasks in a way that upholds Social Care Values. For example, there are several ways we can assist a person to move, some ways may preserve the persons dignity and maximise their independence. This is the option we need to be aware of and choose.
We need to be able to think through the consequences of what we do, intend to do, so that we protect peoples dignity, promote independence and operate safely in line with best practice modules and company procedures.
How Reflecting on Practice Helps Improve your Knowledge, Skill and Understanding
Reflective practice is a process which enables us to achieve :
- A clear understanding of the impact we have when going about our work
- Identify what we have done well,
- Identify where our skills, knowledge and understanding need to improve
- The ability to give and receive constructive criticism and to adjust what we do in the light of it
- Continuous improvement, this means identifying how to improve what we do in order to maximise the quality of the services we provide.
- Focus not only on the outcome but also on the process which took us to the outcome
People who do not analyse what they have done or who do not think about the possible consequences of their actions can actually put themselves, the people they support and, in some instances colleagues too, at risk.
Your supervisor can enable you to improve your reflective practice and learning by encouraging you to reflect on what you have done and learned during one-to-one supervision and asking you questions about why you did something and what might have happened had you tackled it differently.
Use to answer question 2.2d of the Care Certificate
There are a number of methods for reflective learning here is one example which is often used in health and social care settings.
Here is a representation of Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (also known as Gibbs’ Model of Reflection) (1988)
This is a model for reflective learning and practice