Professional Competencies And Critical Thinking Skills

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Reflection is an essential component in the development of professional competencies and critical thinking skills in nursing practice. Reflection in the context of nursing, has been described as a way of exploring an experience in order to look for the prospect of other explanations and alternative methods to doing things. It is through reflection that one can evaluate and identify their strengths and weaknesses to encourage both personal and professional growth and development. In this paper, I will be discussing how student nurses learn and develop from reflection, the emotional response and self-awareness as a nurse, and the appropriate way to reflect as a nurse. The reflective process has been credited to act as a medium to encourage students to explore judgements and clinical decisions that have been acted on in practice, further providing opportunity to change practice as the student nurse ponders the amalgamation of theory and practice (10). When students are encouraged to reflect upon their own clinical performance, they can potentially gain further insight into the areas they need additional focus (3). Reflective writing is used in nursing courses in an effort to enhance the student’s self-awareness, interpersonal understanding, critical analysis, and clinical reasoning skills (9). The process of reflective writing allows the nursing student to reflect upon their attitudes, feelings and develop their breadths of learning (9). It aids the student in differentiating between what actually happened and what they think happened, as the student reflects or recalls the experience later, when their views and perceptions of the experience may have changed (4). Student nurses are exposed to an assortment of medical errors, w... ... middle of paper ... ...eactions that we truly learn from. Furthermore, without reflection we are unable to honestly acknowledge our own personal feelings, beliefs and core values that may hinder our own professional development as a student or professional nurse. Especially since reflection allows us to learn from an experience by analysing one’s own actions and clinical judgement. However, without showing change of attitude and behaviour one has not reflected appropriately and learning has in fact not taken place. Furthermore, reflection also provides a thorough record of events. This record of events can be reviewed later and reflected upon through a nurse’s career, giving him or her the ability to judge their progress throughout their career. Thus, reflection promotes a sense of self-awareness of the skills possessed and an ability to recognise those skills that are yet to be acquired.

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