Evaluating the use of reflective cafés in Specialist Community Practitioner and Specialist Community Public Health Nurse programmes
Background: Specialist Community Practitioner (SCP) and Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) students are required to evidence their competency by the use of reflective practice as part of the NMC proficiencies. A reflective café trilogy comprising of three reflective teaching sessions was developed and introduced into a university programme to support and encourage alternative methods for deeper reflection within this student group. Aim: It was important for educators to evaluate if a reflective café met the student’s needs and understand the usefulness of a ‘reflective café’ as a technique to support the process of reflecting on practice. Methods: Evaluation was undertaken using an online questionnaire. Findings: Students evaluated if the reflective café was useful for their own development and identified that the number of sessions met their developmental needs. Conclusion: The potential to develop alternative methods to reflect was recognised and the team plan to develop other reflective processes to support students in the future.
Reflective practice is a core component of nursing. While this can be difficult to define, Jarvis (1992) considers it to be the process of channelling thoughtful practice to learn from situations. There are calls for all nurses to establish positive ‘reflection behaviours’ to improve self-care and ensure that they are better prepared to understand their own strengths and weaknesses (Robinson, 2020). Concept analysis of reflective practice in nursing, advocates for the use of reflection and self-awareness strategies, and the development of different methods that seek to improve reflection before, during, and after clinical experiences (Patel and Metersky, 2022). The Specialist Community Practitioner (SCP) and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) programmes lead to a recordable qualification and advanced skills. These equip practitioners to lead the delivery of high quality and safe care, and help exercise higher levels of decision making (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2001; 2004). SCP/SCPHN students are required to demonstrate and provide evidence of their learning in practice by completing a practice evidence tool (PET). Within the PET document, students must include several reflective accounts to validate their learning in practice and relate to the Nursing and Midwifery Standards for Specialist Practice, to demonstrate competence in practice (NMC, 2001; 2004). The academic team developed a new method of delivery to support reflective practice and evaluated how these were received by students.
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