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Boyd and Fales (in Getliffe, 1996, p. 362) give the following definition of reflection: … 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 conceptual perspective. As a process, reflection is integrated in numerous conceptual frameworks (Kember et al. , 1999). It promotes critical thinking among health practitioners, being a reflective, reasoned thinking process (Halpern, 1989).

Reflection is utilised to allow judgments to act based on the information analysed or processed (Ennis, 1985). The current paper uses John’s model for structured reflection in gaining insights from my experience as a new student of this course. The reason for choosing it lies in the fact that it is a relatively simple framework and can be easily explained and utilised. In using the model, I found a place where I could prudently carry out introspection. I then tried to understand both my thoughts and my feelings towards being a student of the course.

Enrolling in this course gave me much excitement, and I faced it with keen enthusiasm. This course was actually a part of a long-time plan to study and be able to prescribe medication for COPD patients in the implementation of pulmonary rehabilitation. The latter is a new service offered within my team (the Camden REACH). My initial expectations before the first day of class was that the students would consist of a mixture of nurses, pharmacists and HPCs. During the first day of class, my colleagues introduced themselves and I realized that all of them were nurses and that there was only one HPC member.

It was natural to feel shocked and anxious over this revelation, as it did not meet my expectations. I would have felt more comfortable studying with similar others. I have reflected further and realized that the fear stemmed from the fact that I had not undergone any kind of professional study since my graduation in 1997. I then proceeded to ask myself if I was indeed in the right class. With this, I tried to thresh out my feelings, and I told myself that I had to have strong resolve in undergoing the class since I intend to be taught about prescribing medicine.

I also thought that my classmates may have had more experience in the area compared to myself and may even serve as my mentors. In our sessions together, I have also observed that they have a very good work ethic, have a dedication to learn and are easy to get along with. All these indicated that I was in a class with the right culture and learning attitude. And they did turn out supportive to me. Because my nurse classmates belong to a diverse range of specialties, I was able to learn substantially from them.

I also tried my best to understand how the physiotherapist may work closely with nurses in different sectors – the promise of these wide-ranging opportunities gave me some sense of hope and increased my confidence in my practice. I also communicated with nurses who worked in different trusts; that is, those who were engaged in primary and secondary care and was interested in the importance of prescription in their roles, and the processes alongside it. Moreover, I have managed to arranging a visit to one of my colleagues who worked with a COPD specialty with a secondary care trust.

This was a very productive experience as I was able to collect useful information for my area of interest and have been able to have a better understanding of the relationship between a hospital and a community-based service for COPD patients. There was a also a community mentor who brought us deeper into an understanding of the significance of prescription. I also tried my best to interface with the district nurse to have a more complete appreciation of their roles. In the future, I intend to approach anxiety in new situations with a similar stance.

I will look at things more objectively and strive to understand why I feel a certain way towards things or situations. Understanding one’s emotions promotes a better understanding of oneself and of objectively carrying out a good action plan for results. John’s model for reflection has been a useful and practical tool in carrying out such reflection.

References

Ennis R. H. (1985). Goals for a critical thinking curriculum. In: Cost A (ed. ). Developing minds: A resource book for teaching thinking. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Getliffe, K.A. (1996). An examination of the use of reflective practice within the context of clinical supervision. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27, 379-82. Halpern D. F. (1989). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (2nd edn. ) Mahwah, New Jersey: Erlbaum. Kember, D. , Jones, A. , Loke, A. , McKay, J. , Sinclair, K. , Tse, H. , Webb, C. , Wong, F. , Wong, M. , Yeung, E. (1999). Determining the level of reflective thinking from students’ written journals using a coding scheme based on the work of Mezirow. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 18 (1), 18-30.

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