Gaining insights into your practice 

Reflective practice in health means developing critical thinking skills by reflecting on an area of practice and looking to improve it. It helps to engage in continuous learning and to gain insight into yourself or your practice.

Effective reflective practice

Reflective practice can facilitate learning by using your experiences to identify learning need, build understanding of professional beliefs and attitudes, enable links between new and existing knowledge, and support the development of self-aware professionals. [1]

The broad process for reflective practice involves considering what happened, why does this matter and what are the next steps. Critical thinking, critical reflection, and reflective journaling were common elements [2]

Reflective practice is often undertaken by individuals but can also be done as a group eg, reflecting on a critical incident at the end of a shift. It also has a role in mentoring and peer supervision.

  1. Mann K, Gordon J, MacLeod A. Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: a systematic review. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2009 Oct;14(4):595-621. doi: 10.1007/s10459-007-9090-2. Epub 2007 Nov 23.
  2. Ziebart C, MacDermid JC. Reflective Practice in Physical Therapy: A Scoping Review. Phys Ther. 2019 Aug 1;99(8):1056-1068. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz049. PMID: 30921467; PMCID: PMC6665949.

Last updated 06 September 2021