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Reflective Practice for Health Professionals: 1. What is reflective practice?

A quick guide to introduce you to reflective practice concepts and resources available.

Reflective practice is increasingly being considered as a critical dimension of professional development for health professionals, as it facilitates personal and professional growth and improved outcomes for patients.

Reflective practice happens when you explore an experience you have had to identify what happened, and what your role in this experience was including your behaviour, thinking and related emotions. This will help you to identify changes to your approach for similar future events, leading to improved performance.

The reflective process has the potential to enable you to learn from your professional experiences, to link theory and practice gaps, and to describe and understand your own feelings and influence, in clinical practice.

You may also be involved in service level reflective practices such as clinical meetings and case presentations or reviews of critical incidents. These may identify particular challenges, facilitating team discussion and reflection on underlying causes and potential solutions.

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