Peering into clinical reflections

Clinical Reflection is the process where individuals think about and evaluate their experiences in order to come to new understandings and appreciations” (Williams et al, 2002) The reflective process should bring together the academic learning into the hands on practice and is utilized by novice through to experienced practitioners (although with practice, this may become more of an intuitive rather than an iterative process). Reflection should reinforce learning or engage the learner in a questioning process that can drive further learning.

Reflections help students explore the possible ways in which the experience could have been improved.  Reflective writing also requires students take an active role in their learning and can enhance personal accountability for their performance.  While writing of a reflection in and of its self has benefits providing and receiving feedback on reflections can greatly deepen students’ future reflections when on subsequent placements.

Beginning this year students will be uploading two clinical reflections each placement AND providing a peer review of two anonymously assigned reflections using a rubric that the department designed. The purpose of this is to expose the students to critical evaluation of a clinical reflection which will allow them to identify of strengths and areas for improvement as well as to teach them how to provide constructive written feedback to another person.  Students are supported in writing reflections and how to provide feedback to others’ reflections through materials in our Clinical Education Manual and by a module on reflection, how to use a rubric, and how to provide constructive feedback.