I was fortunate that, when relatively late in life I decided to become a school teacher, I wound up in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Johns Hopkins University, which required that we reflect constantly, in all of our courses. Recently I had occasion to clean out some of the accumulated boxes and folders of papers of a lifetime (I am now 67 and we were literally running out of space in our basement). Forty-year-old financial records are no longer necessary, nor are teaching materials more than 10 years old. In the process, I reencountered many papers I had written in the MAT program, as well as all of the notebooks I have kept since I was 15. In a few cases, I was able to match up notebooks written at the same time as papers and reflections for my MAT. It was interesting to see how each fueled the other.
It may be hard to write a type of essay for the first time. If this is your first time to write a personal reflective essay, you can refer to the reflection essay example below.
The library has lots of material that you can use for reference purposes. Every other time when you need something to help you build a strong reflective essay, do not hesitate to check here.
The reflective essay to be included with your WC II portfolio provides you with an opportunity to introduce your writing to the faculty who will be evaluating it. Although there is no specific length requirement, 2-4 pages is a reasonable range to aim for. The essay should indicate how you believe the materials collected in the portfolio demonstrate your achievements as a writer. Here are some suggestions for specific topics and issues you may wish to discuss:
Throughout your reflection, you must demonstrate an understanding of, and alignment of practice with, the NMBA National competency standards, for the registred nurse (2006).
Reflection. A mirror into your very soul, or in the case of student nurses, a dreaded word that comes attached with a hefty word count and a massive graded essay. Sadly – for some – reflection doesn’t just end when we graduate. No, reflection is part and parcel of being a nurse and when we get that sought after pin is when reflection really kicks up a gear. Reflective essays are part of life now.
Pee B, Woodman T, Fry H and Davenport E. (2002) Appraising and assessing reflection in students’ writing on a structured worksheet. , 36, 575 – 585
PS: for the References
these two have to be in and other internet resources are fine.
-Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) 2006 Competency standards for the registered nurse. Author, Canberra
-Gibb’s Cycle of reflection
May use NMBA code of ethics for nurses in Australia and NMBA code of professional conduct for nurses in Australia.
I won’t bore you to tears with the ins and outs of why reflection is important (purely because I stand a decent chance of plagiarising myself here) but it is. No one stands a chance of learning new skills unless they think about what could be done better and what needs to be thrown in the bin (figuratively speaking) So, say you’re a student nurse. Say you’ve been tasked with a 3,500-word reflective essay all about something that happened to you in placement. How the heck can you get it started?
-Attend hand over to gather information at the beginning of my shift.
-Observe and listen to other nurse’s handover to get useful strategies.
-Attend the handover on time to not miss relevant clinical information.
-Practice giving clinical handover with 2 patients by week 1 and building up to 6 patients by week 2 under preceptor supervision at the end of my shift.
-Use the time management gird.
-Collect relevant medical/surgical information from the various tools (ex: read progress notes, check fluid balance chart, medication chart, observation chart, pathology results and talk to patients), so that I know my patients well enough to handover.
-Evaluate and assess the patients’ response to nursing interventions and upgrade information accordingly.
-Use the ISBAR tool as a guideline for the handover.
-Find/read the hospital policies and procedures related to the handover.
-Simulated handover practice with my preceptor before giving the handover, especially 1st week of clinical placement.
-Learn and use medical terminologies and standard abbreviations appropriately during my handover.
-Reflect on my own performance of handover and identify areas of improvement.
*Reflecting on your practice enables:
-Alignment of practice to the NMBA National competency standards for the registered nurse (2006)
-Professional and personal growth
-Time to consider the complexities of health care delivery, in contemporary settings.
Remember, reflection will be getting all deep and personal about your feelings and beliefs, about why you think and feel that way and why you reacted as such. Ain’t no use writing about something you really have no connection to. Unless you’re a martyr of course.
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