After nurses attend clinical and placements, they are required to write reflective essays. These assignments are meant to help you think critically about your learning experience and ways to improve yourself. Gibbs reflection model can also help you improve your personal life by helping you identify where you excel at, what you lack and skills you need in order to improve yourself.
These essays are becoming common in nursing schools and a nurse should be able to ace this essay. To successfully write a reflective essay, it is advisable to use renowned reflective models like the Gibbs reflective models, Atkins and Murphy Model, Brookfield Reflective Model, and Driscoll Model of Reflection. We will briefly talk about the most popular model, the Gibbs model.
The Gibbs model is one of the most famous cyclical models. It has six steps of analyzing an experience.
Developed by Graham Gibbs in 1988, this model gives structure of learning after an experience. It offers a chance to examine experiences in a cycle. This models allows for repeated experiences allowing for learning and planning from what went well and what didn’t go well. It covers six stages which should be followed systematically.
During this stage of Gibbs reflective model, you have a chance to describe your experience in details. Explain by answering these questions:
Explain what happened
When and where it happened?
Who was present when it happened?
What did you and the people present do when it happened?
What was the result/outcome?
Why were you there?
What was your expectation?
During this stage of Gibbs reflective model, explore and explain all feelings and thoughts you went through during your experience and how they may have impacted on your experience.
When writing about your feelings try answering these questions
What did you feel in that situation?
What did you feel before and after the situation?
What do you think other people felt during this situation?
What did you think during the situation?
What do you think about the situation now?
In this stage of Gibbs reflective model, you will write an evaluation of your experience. Write on what worked and what did not work in the said situation. Be as honest as possible when writing the evaluation. Include both the positive and negative aspects of the said situation. Some guiding questions during this stage may include:
What was the good and the bad of the situation?
What went well?
What didn’t go very well?
What was your contribution and other peoples’ contribution during the situation?
During this stage of Gibbs reflective model, make sense of what happened. In the above stages, you have been focusing on what happened in the situation. In this stage, you now get to get the meaning from it. Focus on the aspect that went well and what went poorly and ask yourself why. You can now include any academic literature sources. Some question which should guide you when writing your analysis are:
Why did things go well?
Why did things go so well?
What can I make out of this situation?
What can help me understand this situation? (Include other people’s knowledge example academic literature)
Conclude on what happened when using the Gibbs reflective model. Conclude by giving a summary of what you learned and state what changes in your actions will improve the outcome of the situation in the future. When concluding, these questions may guide you
What did you learn from this situation?
How positive could this situation have been for all involved?
What skills do I need to develop so that I may be prepared in case such a situation better if happens again?
What could I have done?
6. Action plan
In this stage of Gibbs reflective model, write your plan on what you will do in future differently in case of a similar or related situation. Also explain how you will upgrade yourself or help yourself to act in a different manner and make sure it happens.
These questions should help you write your action plan:
What would I do differently in a similar situation?
What will I do to develop the required skills needed?
What do I need to do to act differently next?
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