Reflection is a very important skill to have for a health and social care worker. When reflecting on an activity, we ask ourselves why something is not working particularly well and how we can improve it or look at a task we have performed and ask ourselves how it went and what we do differently if we did it again.
Essentially, it is a thinking exercise that can be used to develop ourselves and make our work practices better. And you don’t need anything to do it. Just set aside five or ten minutes to think about what you’ve done. Many people choose to do this when they are lying in bed, just before they go to sleep.
Sometimes it is useful to reflect on work activities as a group, which means chatting with managers, colleagues and other professionals about something that has happened and how it may be avoided or improved going forward. You may also use reflection in one-on-one discussions with your manager, for example in your supervision. A common question for a manager to ask in supervision is ‘what do you think you can improve on?’
For your NVQ/Diploma, you will need to evidence that you have used reflection as a personal development tool in your day-to-day work. This may come from supervision notes or team meeting minutes or it may just be describing a situation to your tutor where you have used reflection. Below is the example that I used for my diploma:
One example is when my team were trying to promote a client’s independence by encouraging him to clean his bathroom. Each day he would be asked if he wanted to clean it and each day he said “no”. It was an almost robotic response. The service user has a learning disability, which means questions had to be kept simple, whilst still promoting choice, so after thinking about it I came up with the idea of changing the question to “do you want to clean your bathroom now or later?”. The next day, I asked the question and his first response was “later”, but after a couple of minutes, he changed his mind and said “I’ll do it now.” and went upstairs to clean his bathroom. This technique is still being used by the team.