The health industry is dynamic, constantly improving and growing to adapt to what new research suggests is the best course of action.
Reflective practice is increasingly becoming a strong focus to help aid practitioners in providing the best possible care for patients.
Reflective practice is the act of considering and analysing past working practice to improve and inform future practice.
Done individually or as a group, reflection helps to identify areas of practice or knowledge in need of improvement. Allowing the individual to plan different approaches to similar situations.
Universities are among those leading the pack with reflective practice, encouraging students to begin reflecting on experiences and assessments throughout their studies. Some medical schools even require students to keep a diary during placements.
By normalising reflection in students, and building their reflective skills, universities help to encourage said students to continue to use reflective practice well into their careers.
Reflective practice acts as an intervention, allowing an individual to identify what is successful, what isn’t successful, and what could be more successful.
Without reflection, practice can become stagnant, without consideration for new and potentially more efficient approaches.
When a practitioner regularly uses reflective practice, it encourages continued growth and greater focus on new research. Regardless of if they have three years’ experience or 50 years, reflection helps a practitioner remain up-to-date and offer the best possible care to their patients.
Reflective practice is not restricted to the health industry, it can be a strong tool for any individual aiming for self-improvement.
As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, we are all presented with an opportunity to reflect. As we at The Health Creation Centre reflect upon treatment styles and approaches that worked and didn’t work, we encourage you to also reflect on what did and didn’t work for you this year.
Were those 5am runs too hard on your knees? Would swimming be better? Are three coffees a day necessary?
Let’s use the warm months ahead to reflect and plan, so we can continue to grow and improve.
Cassie Robertson is a remedial massage therapist at The Health Creation Centre in Ocean Grove.