Nursing and Midwifery Council [NMC]

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice

Table of Contents

Abstract 3
Introduction 4
Theories and Models of Reflection 5
Outline, Comparison and Contrasting Two Models 7
Application of Gibb’s Model in My Life Experience 8
Appendices 13
Appendix 1: Schon’s Model of Reflection 13
Appendix 1: Gibb’s Model of Reflection 13

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice2

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice

Reflective practice allows practitioners to evaluate their experience. Reflective practice
allows critical assessment of practice against evidence in the literature. Reflective practice is
applied in nursing and other professions. There are several models that provide structured
reflection. Effective practice is regulatory requirements by NMC. The practice is applicable in
everyday life experiences and professional development. This essay is an evaluation of reflective
models in general, personal reflection and application of the models in nursing.
According to Nursing and Midwifery Council [NMC] (2019, p.1), reflective practice is a
process that allows practitioners to assess their own skills and knowledge to demonstrate self –
direction. In the context of professional practice, reflection involves self-assessment to identify
positive experiences and aspects that require improvement (Nicol and Dosser, 2016, p.34).
Reflective practice is based on the rationale that experience does not provide professional
development without personal deliberation. Reflective practice is a tool that is mainly applied in
practice-based professions, such as nursing, in which practitioners learn from their own
experiences. Reflection is a practice that incorporates literature in to professional practice (Nicol
and Dosser, 2016, p.34). Practitioners evaluate their performance, based on the existing evidence
in literature and professional guidelines. Reflective practice is a critical and systematic process of

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice3
appraising practice, on individual basis, with the aim of identifying the root processes of the
practice. Reflection supports provision of quality services through open and honesty discussions
among members of working teams.
Reflection is relevant in all professions, regardless of the extent of the experience.
Multidisciplinary approach towards reflections is beneficial and improves practice and develops
ideas through teamwork. In addition to experience, emotions and responses to situations are
components of reflective practice (Nicol and Dosser, 2016, p.34). Reflection is executed from
three different perspectives; reflection before a task, reflection on a task and reflection in a task.
Reflection before a task is the determination of how to achieve a set of objective based on
previous experience. Reflecting on task is a reflective practice by an individual while they are
performing a task. Lastly, reflection in a task is the analysis of the process and information
collected for professional development and learning. This is essay is an evaluation of the
different theories and models of reflective practice and examination of the application of the
theories and models in practical situation and nursing profession.
Theories and Models of Reflection
Reflective practice is applied within the current context of healthcare in the United
Kingdom (UK) and across the globe. Self-assessment and mindfulness are required to deal with
the current changes in healthcare, such as increasing demand and cost of healthcare and shortage
of nursing workforce (Caley et al., 2014, p. 10). Reflective practice provides solutions to high
attrition rates, stress and burnout among healthcare practitioners (Caley et al., 2014, p. 10). In
nursing practice, reflection should be a continuous process. The NMC requires nurses and
midwives to utilize feedback in the process of professional learning and development. Nurses

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice4
should reflect on what happened, is happening and will happen and how the outcomes are related
to their intentions (Nicol and Dosser, 2016, p.1). The NMC states that reflection in healthcare
practice is important through improvement of clinical practice and processes and assures
healthcare users that healthcare practitioners are continuously learning (NMC, 2019, p.2. White
(2014, p.284), asserts that reflective practice is essential in clinical research. Reflective practice
ensures transparency and rigor in clinical research.
Reflective practice is a requirement in the revalidation process in the UK. The NMC
requires all nurses and midwives to provide evidence of reflection in their clinical practice. The
NMC Code (2015, p.5) requires nurses to reflect on continuous professional development in
order to improve their competence and maintain their registration status every three years.
According to the NMC, reflection is a process of learning for nurses and midwives. Nurses and
midwives provide examples of how they have achieved reflective practice to meet the NMC code
standards (Myatt, 2015, p.40). Revalidation in nursing in the UK requires reflection.
Reflection is a requirement in nursing education and assessment in the UK, as per the
NMC’s guidelines. Reflection is an integral part of nursing and midwifery education in the UK.
Undergraduate and post-graduate students are encouraged and required to use reflective models
in assessing their clinical experience (Wain, 2017, p. 664). Reflective learning is applied in the
wider context of self-motivation and self-actualization in which the students have the desire to
achieve their learning goals. Several nursing and midwifery programs across the UK require
student to provide written reflection of their experience in clinical placements, which form part
of their summative clinical assessments (Wain, 2017, p. 666). Furthermore, the students are
required to hold open discussion in a safe and confidential environment that allows evaluation of
their clinical experiences. Nursing and midwifery are faced with uncertainty from potential

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice5
changes in the healthcare system and the wider society in general. Therefore, nursing and
midwifery needs a critical thinking approach (Wain, 2017, p. 665). The student’s appraisals
examine their attitudes, assumptions and expectations and relationship with clinical experience.
The NMC requires nursing and midwifery teachers to use reflective, innovative ad critical
thinking teaching methods and strategies that facilitate learning in different contexts and which
support the integration of theoretical knowledge into clinical experience (Wain, 2017, p. 666).
Learning uses all the senses. Students are required to describe specific concepts in clinical
experience through appropriate models. The students use drawings and logos to demonstrate
their experience. This process supports students’ insights of the experience under reflection.
Outline, Comparison and Contrasting Two Models
The Gibbs’ model of reflection is widely used. The model outlines the phases of an
activity. Gibb’s model is used in higher education. According to Patterson et al., (2016, p.95),
experiences from previous learning are used to build on further learning. The leaner recalls the
events during previous learning and the reactions to the learning experience. Under the model,
the learner analyses the experience against the available literature and summarizes the events of
the learning process (Wain, 2017, p. 666). Finally, the learners develop a course of action based
on the lessons learnt from the experience Patterson et al., (Patterson et al., 2016, p.95). Overall,
Gibbs cycles guides learning through explanation, synthesis, assessment and improvements.
Schon’s Model of reflection describes the application of knowledge in clinical practice.
The model initially focused on management, town planning, psychology, engineering and
architecture. The model addresses the reflection of knowledge, thought and reaction to an event

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice6
as it unfolds (Myatt, 2015, p.50). Further, the models focus on examination of events after they
have happened and use of the feedback to make further improvements.
The two models involve assessment of an event. The Gibbs model describes, analyses,
evaluates and enhances improvements. Similarly, by using Schon’s models a practitioner
assesses their thoughts, knowledge, and reaction based on events during or after the vents. The
two modes rely on literature. According to the Gibbs model, the analysis is an aspect of
reflection during which a student compares their experience with literature (Myatt, 2015, p.45).
Likewise, the Schon’s model primarily guides the application of literature into practice.
The two models differ on deferent aspects. Gibb’s model has four phases while Schons’
model makes reflection from two perspectives. According to Gibbs’s models, a practitioner
describes, analyzes, evaluates and developers a course of action. Schon’s model reflects on
experiences during after the events (Collington, and Fook, 2017, p.71).
Application of Gibb’s Model in My Life Experience
I will use Gibb’s Model to reflect on the events in the initial experience in nursing
school. The model clearly outlines cyclical stages of reflection. The steps are outlined in the
order of events. The model is appropriate in nursing education (Barksby, Butcher, and Whysall,
2015, p. 24; Cooper, and Wieckowski, 2017, p.56). Therefore, the model is ideal for professional
development for nursing education in nursing and midwifery practice. After commencing my
undergraduate nursing studies, learning was challenging. Firstly, the new environment and
the interaction with people had never met in was not prompt. My classmates and the teachers and
other workers in the University were all new people to me. The concepts that I learned in class
were also challenging to understand. Although the initial classes were related to my earlier

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice7
nursing sciences, new concepts were new and challenging. However, after some time into the
studies and the University environmental, my fellow students and the teachers and the studies
seemed more familiar than before. I felt part of the university community and nursing education
become more interesting and involving.
The first element in Gibb’s model is description of the events (Martin, 2016, p. 67). I can
remember the various key events, thoughts and different thoughts and reactions. The daily
routine would involve attending different learning sessions .I felt alienated from the other
students. I thought that I had not made the right choice to study nursing. My experience
contributed to the challenges I encountered to comprehend the nursing concepts that I studied.
The evaluation of the events reveals both the negative and positive outcomes of the
experience. Initially, I felt anxious ad alienated from the rest of the class members. However,
there were positive outcomes. Later, I appreciated the need for friendship and social interaction
when undergoing new experiencing. I appreciate the need for teamwork when dealing with
different life situations.
Analysis of my experience indicates that my reaction and thoughts were deviated from
the literature (Smith, and Roberts, 2015, p. 230). Experience of new events is a common among
all individuals. However, the anxiety involved with new experiences such as beginning nursing
undergraduate studies can be overcome. I did not rely on existing guidelines for dealing with the
new situation. I was anxious about the new studies, environment and the people I interact with.
Firstly, one should identify and define the situation that causes anxiety or is challenging. I did
take time to identify the causes of my anxiety and alienation (Smith, and Roberts, 2015, p. 230).
Subsequently, one should set attainable goals. I wanted to get rid of the anxiety the first time I
began my studies. However, I did not set goals to achieve what wanted I wanted to exercise, feel

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice8
and think. I should have drawn goals that I could achieve. For example, I aim at least making
three different friends when I started my studies. Making achievable goals supports the process
of transformation. Long-term and extended goals are not attainable sin n w experiences. The
short term goals are achievable. For example, making the friends was achievable. On the other
hand, making friends with all the classmates would not be achievable. The short term achievable
goals improve the experiences that are expected to attain higher goals. In my case, the friends
would help interact with their friends and thus feel part of the class.
The conclusion of my experience reveals that I need to make changes of the future when
faced with new situations. I should have make friends to help me to face the new experiences. I
would have successfully undergone the experience of as a new student through social interaction.
In the future, I need to make improvements when dealing with new situations. In the
future, I expect to be faced with new situations at work. I anticipate working in places and
contexts that I have never been to before. Under such circumstances, I will seek to interaction
with other people at the work. The interaction will strengthen teamwork. Similarly, the social
interaction will facilitate reflective practice teams. Reflection in involves discussion of strengths
and weaknesses with other professionals in an honest manner. The team members will assist in
identifying the weakness and strengths.  I will develop measurable and achievable goals. The
goal would include for example, making social and professional interaction with at least two
other practitioners. The professions interactions would help me feel familiar in the new
In conclusion, the essay defines reflective practice and learning, discusses the application
of reflective practice and learning in nursing and midwifery. The essay outlines, compares and
contrasts Gibbs and Schon’s models of reflective practice. Reflective practice is the self-

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice9
assessment of experience and improving on practice, based on the outcomes of the reflection.
Reflection is a regulatory requirement for nurses and midwives in the UK, as per NMC
revalidation standards. Reflections are incorporated into postgraduate programs across the UK.
Students reflect on the clinical experience to improve their skills. Gibb’s model consists of
description, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and course of action. Schon’s model reflects
experiences as they occur and after their occurrence. The two models are similar in their aims
and but differ in their context.

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice10


Barksby, J., Butcher, N. and Whysall, A., 2015. A new model of reflection for clinical practice.
Nursing times, 111(34-35), pp.21-23.
Caley, L., Pittordou, V., Adams, C., Gee, C., Pitkahoo, V., Matthews, J., Cruse, S. and Muls, A.,

  1. Reflective practice applied in a clinical oncology research setting. British Journal
    of Nursing, 26(16), pp.S4-S17.
    Collington, V. and Fook, J., 2017. Reflection and Intuitive Practice. Myles Professional Studies
    in Midwifery Practice, p.71.
    Cooper, L.D. and Wieckowski, A.T., 2017. A structured approach to reflective practice training
    in a clinical practicum. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 11(4), p.252.
    Martin, M., 2016. A reflection on using play to facilitate learning. International Practice
    Development Journal, 6(1).
    Myatt, R., 2015. Nursing and Midwifery Council revalidation. Nursing Standard (2014+), 30(7),
    Nicol, J.S. and Dosser, I., 2016. Understanding reflective practice. Nursing Standard (2014+),
    30(36), p.34.
    NMC. 2019. NCM . Retrieved December 16, 2019,

Theories & Model of Reflection, Reflective Practice11
Patterson, C., Moxham, L., Brighton, R., Taylor, E., Sumskis, S., Perlman, D., Heffernan, T. and
Hadfield, L., 2016. Nursing students’ reflections on the learning experience of a unique
mental health clinical placement. Nurse education today, 46, pp.94-98.
Smith, J. and Roberts, R., 2015. Reflective practice. Vital Signs for Nurses: An Introduction to
Clinical Observations, pp.222-230.
Wain, A., 2017. Learning through reflection. British Journal of Midwifery, 25(10), pp.662-666.
White, L., 2014. Mindfulness in nursing: An evolutionary concept analysis. Journal of Advanced
Nursing, 70(2), pp.282-294.
Appendix 1: Schon’s Model of Reflection

Appendix 1: Gibb’s Model of Reflection
Step 1: Description
of Experience

Step 5: Conclusion

Step 2: Feelings
triggered by event
Description of

Step 3: Evaluation of

Step 4: Analaysing

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