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Reflective practice is someone’s ability to look back on previous events and actions that have occurred during practice. Reflective practice isn’t only restricted to one workplace but can be used in many other different workplaces. Reflection is considered “to be central to good social work practice but only if action results from that reflection, which is known as reflective practice” (Horner ,2004, p.4). In this essay topics such as the importance of reflective practice within healthcare will be discussed. There are many things which can guide someone into writing exactly what is needed and also some models which include Gibb’s (1988) model and Kolb’s (1975) model. These models are very informative and are illustrated as cycles which is a step by step cycle which indicates what to include and things such as ‘what happened?’ and ‘what were you thinking?’ (Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle. University of Cumbria, Mar. 2016, www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t=j==s=web=2=0ahUKEwjWq7GU54HYAhVIZ1AKHYeyBGoQFgg1MAE=https%3A%2F%2Fmy.cumbria.ac.uk%2Fmedia%2FMyCumbria%2FDocuments%2FReflectiveCycleGibbs.pdf=AOvVaw2r5GhqiesINgo4giMRJvGF .) As a social worker it is important to take care and help patients as much as possible. Continual professional development makes sure that social workers keep up with upholding safe practice which is also effective and also should try to improve practice and improve their skills. (Kloosterman, Vivian. “What Is Continual Professional Development.” Continual Professional Development, 2014, continuingprofessionaldevelopment.org/what-is-continuing-professional-development/.) Evidence based practice ensures that practice within the clinic/hospital is based on complete evidence and so patients ‘should’ benefit from all of this. All in all, evidence based practice results in clinical service becoming more effective and better within the health service. Reflective practice can contribute to both evidence based practice and continual professional development as reflecting back on key events will help to improve care and benefit patients and also ensure safe and effective practice due to reflective practice. (Knott, C., & Scragg, T. (2010). Reflective practice in social work (2nd ed., Transforming social work practice). Exeter: Learning Matters. Pg.8-9) Kolb’s (1975) learning cycle argues that we learn from past experiences on a daily basis intentionally or not. This theory gives a lot of important to reflection and indicates that it is an important part of learning. Kolb’s (1975) learning cycle comprises of 4 stages starting from concrete experience to observations and reflections to the final stage. (Knott, C., & Scragg, T. (2010). Reflective practice in social work (2nd ed., Transforming social work practice). Exeter: Learning Matters pg.16). “In order to be effective learners the four kinds of ability above are needed, which match the four stages of the learning cycle.”  (Kolb, 1975, p.16). Another model of reflective practice is Gibb’s (1988) reflective cycle. Many people prefer this model as it has a 6 stage detailed plan rather than a 4 stage compared to Kolb’s (1975) model. This cycle enables you to work fully around it starting from ‘what happened?’ to an ‘analysis’ and finally an ‘action plan’. This stage plan cycle also gives a lot of importance to reflection and is incomplete without reflection. (Brock, A. (2015). The early years reflective practice handbook pg.16). Gibbs’ (1988) learning cycle is a cycle which ranges from description of the event all the way to a conclusion and an action plan.  Although we learn from our experiences we have to make sure we reflect at all times. There are a lot of individuals who don’t give any importance to reflection and these stages however, a lot of them unintentionally reflect automatically as it’s something that a professional does as the day goes on. Kolbs’ (1975) and Gibbs’ (1988) models are illustrations on how reflective practice can enable social workers to work differently. However, when we compare the models there are some differences that we see. Gibb’s model is a lot briefer and relates to things such as who was involved? But Kolb’s model is a description of things you should do for example why you need concrete experience? And then you are expected to follow on from there. (Wheeler, Steve. “Recycling Kolb.” Learning with ‘E’s, Steve Wheeler, 20 June 2012, www.steve-wheeler.co.uk/2012/06/recycling-kolb.html). Even though many people find reflective practice useful and effective, there are many people who have criticised it. Van Manen (1995) has pointed out that the notion of reflection is challenging and may refer to a complex array of cognitively and philosophically distinct methods and attitudes. Another criticism is that reflective practice can only be useful if someone actually has the time to note things down during an event or after. Being a nurse, midwife etc. can be a challenging job and requires you to be on your feet at all time so during the day it might get hard to record the events that have occurred. Also many people may have a lot of events that occur daily which doesn’t give them time to remember or note them down. Lastly, Bleakley (1999) has suggested that reflective practice is in danger of becoming a catch all term for an ill-defined process. Likewise, in practice the theory is interpreted and applied in many ways, within different institutions, and by various professions which can cause confusion among practitioners and educators is rife. (Kinsella, EA. Toward Understanding: Critiques of Reflective Practice and Possibilities for Dialogue. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education – Online Proceedings 2003, 2003, www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t=j==s=web=1=rja=8=0ahUKEwiV2Z-njILYAhVQKFAKHdNSCW0QFgguMAA=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.casae-aceea.ca%2F~casae%2Fsites%2Fcasae%2Farchives%2Fcnf2003%2F2003_papers%2Frt-annekinsellaCAS03.pdf=AOvVaw3KKdLXjajj3lSXcnUhDZ06.)  Going on, the 6C’S set a foundation for social workers when it comes to leading, taking care of patients and staff etc. This was a 3-year strategy which was concluded in 2016 which brought a change in the way healthcare professionals worked. The 6C’s include care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. (England, NHS. “The 6Cs.” England.nhs.uk, www.england.nhs.uk/leadingchange/about/the-6cs/ )  The HCPC (Health and care professions council) exist to protect the public and ensure that the care towards public is all up to their standards. These standards are set so that social workers can deliver well during their career. As an organisation they have a lot of aims and values. Some include maintaining and publishing a public register of qualified members and also taking part in setting high standards of education and training and continuing good practice. (“Aims and Vision.” HCPC – Health and Care Professions Council – Aims and Vision, www.hpc-uk.org/aboutus/aimsandvision/) In conclusion reflective practice is something that is essential for every social worker to do, whether it’s on a daily basis or every so often. Many people think it takes a lot of thinking and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but in fact, reflective practice is something that people do without even knowing. Whether they’re discussing what happened at their workplace with friends or simply just thinking about past experiences. All of that is exactly what ‘reflective practice’ is. 

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