Nowadays, reflective practice is a built in expectation of the work we do as health care professionals and, as such, is it something that has lost its true meaning and purpose; currently misrepresented and maybe, because of this, something that gets dismissed as another aspect of work that we are ‘required’ to do? Another arm of scrutiny that focusses on how we should improve?
Could it be that there is an opportunity missed here?
Is it possible that reflective practice is also, and more importantly, an opportunity to openly and deeply appreciate the impact of our work and the magic that happens in so many everyday moments?
Realising how often we simply and inadvertently change lives with a glance, a touch, a word and/or a level of care, shows another their value and preciousness. This is not ‘soft psychology’, this is the backbone of how we feel and supports us to truly value what we bring.
There is a simplicity to the fact that when we move in a way that reflects a level of care and respect we have for ourselves – not being taken by the situations we find ourselves in – we can be steady and offer others a point of inspiration that living without being caught up in life’s chaos is possible. And when we value ourselves, we can dismiss the doubt that plagues so many of us.
Reflecting on our days, gently and without criticism, allows us to observe and learn and refine the way we approach things. And gently is the key word here. Supporting ourselves to have a level of honesty that is in no way critical or unkind, we get to appreciate the ‘magic that happens’ alongside the always and forever rich learning that work offers.
Being a glass always full (actually overflowing) and ready for ongoing learning, rather than focusing on the perceived shortcomings, brings an openness and joy in our role as nurses and midwives.
And rather than seeing this as ‘one more thing to do’ is it possible to embrace reflective practice as a moment of care and honouring that supports us long term?