Journal Entry: Radiation Therapy Student

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Reflective practice is an integral part of developing professionalism of a radiation therapy

student. In the following journal, we see the benefit of reflective practice and what it achieves

and the value of professional practice and what it requires. We see an example of said

professionalism as we reflect on Carla’s experience with breast cancer and her interaction

with professionals throughout her treatment. From this reflection, we see the importance of

communicating in a professional manner in order to provide the best standard of care for the

patient, on a physical and emotional level.

According to Sandars (2009, 685), reflection is a process of turning back thoughts in order to

interpret and analyse events, creating a greater understanding of oneself and influencing

future actions and responses. In health, reflection is essential as it improves the actions of a

health professional, leading to improvement in the standard of care and therefore impacting

on the wellbeing of the patient. A reflection can be personal in the form of a journal,

feedback from other staff and patients or a structured analysis of incidents. Reflective

practice is the responsibility of the professional and is an ongoing process throughout their

whole career (Sandars 2009, 688). As highlighted by White (2003, 8), reflective practice is of

paramount importance to a radiation therapy student as it provides an avenue to review

methods and develop a greater understanding of best practice early in their career. It helps

keep up to date with current technique and technology and challenge and refine clinical

practice (Chapman, Dempsey and Warren-Forward 2009, Introduction). Reflecting on

practice helps to analyse incidents and build on techn...

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...short in my actions. I plan to consider the consequences of my actions before I implement

them. If I can improve these skills, my patients will benefit as I aim to improve the standard

of care I ultimately give as a radiation therapist.

Reflective practice challenges the actions and experiences of students and professionals. It

requires self-assessment and analysis of actions and calls for a change in order to improve

care. This high standard of care is fought for by health professionals who keep their patients

as a priority. Carla’s experiences highlights the impact professionals may have on patients

and shows how the actions of those professionals had a significant impact on her emotional

wellbeing throughout her treatment. In reflecting on this, I aim to develop my communication

and self-assessment skills in order to improve the care I ultimately provide.
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