The Significance of Self-Reflection in Modern Healthcare Practice


Self-reflection is an important aspect in modern healthcare practice that enables healthcare providers to make the effective transformation from a student or associate to a skilled practitioner or registered nurse. Good reflective practice, enables GPs to link their theoretical knowledge and application of this knowledge into practical examples for promoting professional development. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines nursing as the collaborative and autonomous care of people of all ages, groups, families and communities thereby promoting their health and wellbeing. As mentioned by Bass et al. (2017), in modern nursing practice, reflection is fundamental to promote the continuous professional development of nursing professionals and student nurses. Reflection enables nursing professionals to evaluate their performance, activities, strength and limitation which enables them to identify the areas in which they need to work more to archive the good professional standard.

For presenting the reflective account this study is going to use the Gibbs Reflective Cycle of reflection. This reflective cycle is one of the most useful models which enables modern nursing professionals to conduct continuous professional development. Gibbs reflective cycle is appropriate for this study as it enables this study to present a comprehensive account reflection in six different segments such as description, feeling analysis, evaluation, and conclusion and action plan. This reflective cycle will not only enable this study to reflect on the performance strengths and weaknesses of nurses but also focus on the action plan that would enable nurses to improve professional skills for future development. After presenting the critical reflection this study will describe its action plan in detail.


Reflection on nursing practice: (by using Gibbs reflective cycle)


I worked on a group presentation as a general practitioner (GP). During this practice I worked in a team that was assigned to take care of a 5 years old child Ola who suffers from Dyslexia. As a GP I complied with the NHS and NICE guidelines in terms of maintaining professional integrity and professional accountability towards my client and colleagues. I assisted my team in terms of assessing health condition of Ola and developing an effective care plan for her. During this practice as GP, I maintained close loop communication with my colleagues that enabled me to have a two-way interaction with them. The close loop communication is crucial in healthcare which enables care staffs to receive feedback from colleagues, give information to colleagues and clients and discuss any matter transparently (Bender, 2018). During working with this multidisciplinary team I played two important roles based on the Belbin’s Team Roles theory I worked as a shaper and implementer. Being a shaper I used to emphasize on improving my professional skill and abilities that enabled me to deliver best performance to achieve the organizational goals. Being an implementer I used to implement effective strategies and right decision regarding meeting holistic needs of Ola and other patients. However, while working on the team I faced difficulties in conducting proper health assessment of Ola, as never done this before. My team members and seniors helped me to carry out the health assessment properly to discard the chances of any error. I had maintained a good close loop communication with other senior nurses, GPs, doctors and other health staff to maintain a transparent information delivery regarding patient’s heath. Despite I had to deal with many tasks during providing care to this patient, during this practice I was calm and assertive.

During my practice as a GP, I worked collaboratively within the multidisciplinary team by maintaining synergistic relations with each team member. I discussed each information regarding the treatment and care of patients with all the team members and then implement the final decision that are approved by the entire team. According to Cheng et al. (2020), GP must maintain an assertive and positive approach while dealing with patients with the complex health condition. NMC (2018) mentioned that GP must maintain effective and empathetic communication with their patients for gaining patients' trust and faith in them (Bijani et al. 2021). I worked as a good critical thinker while choosing the right decision regarding effective care delivery to the patient. I although performed well in monitoring patients' health regularly, I experienced difficulties in conducting an effective medicine administration (Carter et al. 2017). This is because as the patients suffer from other health conditions apart from having osteoarthritic, it made me confused and nervous in organizing effective medicine administration for the patients. In this context, I discussed the matter with my seniors nursing professional and doctors who then assisted me to solve this issue. Under the guidance of senior nursing professionals, pharmacists and doctors I got a clear understanding of how to conduct the safe and effective use of each medicine for the patient.


During the above-mentioned event, I felt that I need to be more professional while conducting the health assessment of any critical patient. NMC (2018) mentioned that, while it comes to developing professional and personal skills, nurses must work on shaping their professional skills in conducting different health assessments as per the health needs of the patient (Cheng et al. 2020). I realized that I need to improve my practical and theoretical knowledge in the health assessment of critical patients which will enable me to assess and determine the health needs of any critical patients easily without getting nervous. During working with the above-mentioned patients, I also felt that I need to improve my time management skill, which will enable me to arrange a useful schedule for accomplishing the priority tasks. As stated by Edwards (2017), nursing professionals must have a good sense of task prioritization and task delegation which enable them not only to reduce the individual task load but also maintain a systemic workflow within the workplace. During the placement, I also felt that I need to be good enough in decision making and analyzing while working in a critical environment. Good decision making and analysis skills will enable me to anticipate patients’ needs and implement the right treatment process and care plan for the patient. According to Esterhuizen (2019), in nursing critical analysis skill is crucial; for nursing professionals that enables them to use their reasoning ad judgmental skill in taking the appropriate decision regarding treatment for patients.

By using Belbin’s team role theory, I can say, that during the above-mentioned practices, I need to be a shaper and implementer which will promote continuous professional development (CPD). NMC (2018), the nursing profession must work on a continuous modification and development of the existing skill and knowledge as per the changing health needs of patients (Karlsson and Pennbrant, 2020). I felt that during working with the patients I need to work more on shaping my existing skill and professional knowledge that can enable me to improve my performance standard. While working closely with the abovementioned patient I also felt the importance of maintaining professional accountability as well as professional integrity toward the profession. I realized that although I have shown my professional accountability ad interiority toward my profession and client while working in an MDT I must try to listen to the views of team members carefully ad resect their decisions.


I had to experience both the good and bad things during this placement. the good thing is that, throughout this practice, I am able to work closely with many patients with different health conditions. Working with different patients improve my ability to adapt to deal with different patients (McDermott, 2017). This placement brought me the opportunity to work with different teams with diverse team members which not only improve my resilience but also improve my teamwork and conflict management skills. As mentioned by Redmond (2017), in health care practice, GP must develop good conflict management skills which enable them to overcome any mismanagement, arguments or conflicts within their team. During these nursing practices, I am also develop my teamwork skill, decision-making skills, communication skill and professional standards. As mentioned by Rolfe and Freshwater (2020), when reflecting on their strength and weakness, GP must evaluate what experiences they receive during their placement and how these experiences impact their professional development. For me, the placement was highly informative as well as productive me that made me learn new skills and professional knowledge that GP need to provide high-quality care to patients. Throughout this placement, I learned about medicine administration, different health assessment tools and their application into practice.

Along with all these aspects, there were also some bad aspects that I experienced during this placement. Team conflict was the major unexpected aspect that I experienced during this placement. While working within the MDT with diverse team members I was often involved in unnecessary arguments and unhealthy competition with my team members, which not only posed barriers to my learning and development but also impacted adversely the productivity of the entire team. As mentioned by Solheim et al. (2017), nursing professionals must use conflict management skills in terms of solving conflicts with team members thereby maintaining discipline and synergy within the team. The second negative aspect that I experienced during the practice is a lack of cooperation from the patient and some of the team members which made it difficult for me to deliver high-quality care. The patient in the ICU whom I was taking care, was highly uncooperative in terms of sharing clear information regarding his health condition, previous health history and his health needs. Every time when tried to make a clear interaction with the patient, the patient either refused to interact with me or showed annoying behaviour towards me to pressurise me to stop the discussion with the patient. This experience made me frustrated and exhausted as I was unable to get clear information on the health needs of the patient. As mentioned by Tilakaratna et al. (2020), self-reflection is highly useful in evaluating how the negative and positive aspects of the workplace impact the skills and abilities of nursing professionals. Furthermore, I got poor cooperation from some of the team members, which affected the quality of care delivery to a patient by the entire team.


By analyzing my performance and experiences during practices, I can say that the entire placement as a registered nurse was highly effective and informative to me that not only improve my professional skill but also make my behavioural and psychological transformation. During my practice, I got the opportunity in developing a polite and calm gesture that is very important for nurses for building healthy and positive relations with their clients and colleagues (Van der Wal, 2021). This placement also brought me the opportunity in improving my cognitive skill such as my decision making, analysis, judgment and problem-solving skill, which will enable me I my future work to provide high-quality care to patients. I have learned how to maintain a good balance between manifold nursing roles and prioritize tasks based on their needs. During this practice, I also understood the importance of effective communication both verbal and written which enable me to work more on developing effective communication skills. This module improved my theoretical and practical knowledge of different health assessment tools.


During my practice as a registered nurse, I had conducted continuous professional development which enabled me to improve my nursing skills. Throughout my practice as a registered nurse, I got the opportunity to promote my professional development by improving my teamwork skill, communication skill, decision-making ability, problem-solving skill, and analysis skills. These skills improve my professional standard in meeting patients’ health needs and complying with the health care regulation. Throughout this placement, I had worked in line with the codes of conduct and standard of nursing practice for promoting my professional accountability towards my profession and clients. I also worked as a learner as well as a student in my workplace thereby obtaining and implementing all advice from my senior colleagues in the right way to improve professional skill and knowledge.

Action plan:

Based on the strengths and limitations that I find out throughout my practices, I have made the below-mentioned action plan.

SMART Goals:


Learnt from the practice:

I have learnt many aspects during the practice, such as how to work in different teams synergistically and how to work on the common healthcare goal of a team rather than working on individual goals. I also learnt that how to work closely with critical patients in ICU who suffer from the rheumatoid disease, assess their health needs, check regular health, determine any health deterioration and maintain healthy interaction with the team. During this practice, I have also learnt the importance and implementation of early recognition and responding system in providing immediate care to critical patients. I have learnt how to conduct effective medicine management and medicine administration to ensure the safe use of different medicine by medicines. I also learn that how to be involved in a CPD for shaping my nursing skills and professional knowledge thereby improving performance standards.

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Reference list:

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