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Self Reflection Using Gibbs Reflective Cycle Nursing Essay

In order for me to develop my personal and professional skills, it is important to build upon and learn from different working practices. According to Bould et al. (1985) effective learning cannot take place ‘unless you reflect’ (cited in Allin & Turnock 2007). In order to promote learning, reflection aims to provide a reflective voice for personal ‘actions, beliefs, theories, assumptions and thoughts’ (Fade 2005 cited in Allin &Turnock 2007). In this module, I need to reflect on a situation that has taken place during in which I need to consider my need to develop and utilise my interpersonal and developmental skills.

In this reflection, I am going to use Gibbs (1988) Reflective Cycle. This model is a recognised framework for my reflection. Gibbs (1988) consists of six stages to complete one cycle that is able to improve my continuing professional practice and learning from the experience for better practice in the future. The cycle starts with a description of the situation, next is to analysis of the feelings, third is an evaluation of the experience, fourth stage is an analysis to make sense of the experience, fifth stage is a conclusion of what else could I have done and final stage is an action plan to prepare if the situation arose again.

Baird and Winter (2005, p.156) give some reasons why reflection is require in the reflective practice. They state that a reflect is to generate the practice knowledge, assist an ability to adapt new situations, develop self-esteem and

satisfaction as well as to value, develop and professional practice. However, Siviter (2004, p.165) explains that reflection is about gaining self-confidence, identify when to improve, learning from own mistakes and behaviour, looking at other people perspectives, being self-aware and improving the future by learning the past.

The following reflection is on a recent interview which I attended a couple of weeks ago, in which I had to produce a presentation to support my interview.

In these next paragraphs I will describe the event that took place. I decided to use PowerPoint. Even though I am not all that happy to use this method as I have seen it either go wrong or not been that impressed by other peoples attempts to produce a presentation using PowerPoint. However, I have always seen presentations using this and I felt that I needed to utilise this method in order to gain valuable experience. I had produced my presentation at home and gathered the relevant information I required from different operational groups, police and women’s aid web sites and the councils current strategies on ‘safer communities’. I also had chance to liase with a sergeant from the police force who I work closely with regarding current strategies and implementing important strategies and priorities in the next twelve months.

Even though I talked through my presentation to myself I seemed to have no time to present it to my family, due to work commitments, and a general busy family lifestyle.

This would have been an opportunity to see how other people would perceive my presentation skills, according to George Herbert Mead (1933), The ‘I’ and the ‘Me’, which are parallel parts of me, referred to as ‘The Self’. I had seen previous presentations from other colleagues and always thought they were very good, the best ones seemed to be those with little information printed on each slide, just a snapshot of different information for them to then expand on, which they could do as they had an in-depth knowledge and passion for the subject. They always seemed so calm and composed and did not seem at all nervous, which was not at all how I felt and how I believed I came across.

The next few paragraphs will concentrate on my feelings. I woke up at 4:30am on the morning of the interview thoughts racing through my head regarding my presentation, I thought I would have to go through it again to make some final adjustments, I was positive that there were too many words on each slide, and I felt that the main topic of what was achievable and how I would implement it with in the next twelve months was overloaded, surely the points I have mentioned can’t be achievable within the next twelve months, I would have to go through my whole presentation again and re-arrange it.

In the interview the PowerPoint presentation was put onto the laptop by the interviewer, so that was one less thing to worry about. I was asked to start when I was ready after they had made their introductions. The presentation went quite well, they listened and wrote notes as I went along, there were a couple of questions which totally threw me as I was not aware that they would

question any part until the end, I had to think on my feet and ‘reflect in action’ (Schon 1983 cited in Smith 2001), which is something I am used to within my current role. I tried to remain calm throughout and smiled and used body gestures to illustrate certain points of information. Body gesturers and facial expressions are referred as a non-verbal communication (Funnell et al, 2005, p.443). During the interview I maintained the eye contact. This is because; my eye contact could show up my interest in the role. This is supported by Caris-Verhallen et al (1999) which mentioned that the direct of eye contact could express a sense of interest in the person to the other person involves in that communication.

When I had completed my presentation I was requested to sit down, it was explained to me that as there were three interviewees they would be asking me three questions each. Panic and fear set in; I hadn’t even thought about the questions I would be asked I was so busy preparing my presentation.

In my evaluating I feel the questions were fairly straightforward but they seemed to be probing me to expand for more information, as my preferred learning style is a ‘reflector’ according to Honey & Mumford (2006), I prefer to have the opportunity to review and think about the questions before I give an answer. This is obviously not acceptable within an interview, as they require an answer straightaway and looking for someone who is a quick thinker and a good communicator. My efforts to be calm failed and my voice was quite shaky, I just wanted to get out of the room as quickly as possible. I knew I

hadn’t been successful, due to the fact they never asked to look at my portfolio of learning evidence nor did not ask how much notice I was required to give from my current employment. I also noticed when I signed in that other people had been in the interview for over an hour, as I looked down at my watch only forty five minutes had passed, which led me to believe that there presentations and questions were far more in depth and possibly a lot more interesting than mine. They said they had someone else to interview the next day and would let everyone know by Wednesday of the next week.

I was less hopeful that I had been successful and then I was phoned on Tuesday morning by one of the interviewees. He explained that I hadn’t been successful due to the fact that although I had an in depth knowledge of a range of current practices I failed to reach the ‘benchmark’ criteria, as they needed me to expand more on a particular question.

I had not spent enough time on researching some of the possible questions and spent too much time on my presentation. Further reflection of this interview has enabled me to accept that I approached it with a predetermined view; part of me believed this job was mine as I had a lot of subject knowledge and understood what the priorities were and how they could be implemented within the next 12 months but I recognised I have an area of weakness in ‘selling myself’, remaining calm and researching each element of the interview in depth and until I receive specific training this weakness is likely to remain apparent. I do not consider myself to be greatly disadvantaged by my lack of

skills in this area I have many other competencies on which I will draw, which are supported by my supervisory sessions with my line manager, my own personal and work based experiences and my qualifications.

To analysis the whole interview process throughout further consideration, I am noticing how useful it is to go back over things. I seem to see the situation quite differently. When I first come out of the interview I thought I had done so terribly I just wanted to get away as soon as I could. Now I realise that I hadn’t done so badly, my PowerPoint presentation went well, I just needed to expand on a few of the questions, I knew the answers but feeling flustered and put on the spot I seem to forget what to say and can’t think rationally. It was if my low self-esteem got in the way.

In my action plan and now reflecting on the situation, knowing where I went wrong, and admitting the errors to myself and recognising that I require some initial training gives me a chance to improve myself next time and who knows maybe I will be successful in the next job interview. Boud et al (1985) provide a perspective by defining reflection as ‘a generic term for those intellectual and effective activities which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to a new understanding and appreciation’ (ibid). For this to occur consideration must be given to a particular moment in time which can then be described analysed and evaluated.

In conclusion of my reflective assignment, I mention the model that I chose, Gibbs (1988) Reflective Cycle as my framework of my reflective. I state the reasons why I am choosing the model as well as some discussion on the important of doing reflection in my personal and professional practice. I am able to discuss every stage in the Gibbs (1988) Reflective Cycle about my ability to develop my ability to communicate effectively by using my interpersonal skills.

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