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Dr Richard Eve believes that time for reflective learning is vital for his health as well as for the future survival of his practice
Reflective learning sounds like an excellent idea in principle, but the main objection that leads many of us to despair is how do we create the time to reflect? Is this practical? Won’t this lead to an increase in our workload? With this in mind, I would like to explain why protecting our time for reflection is important, and offer some tips from my own experience on how to find the time. I have found that the benefits have far outweighed the costs, including opportunities for learning, improved patient care and ultimately a happier and less stressed me!
Why I need time for reflection
Last month I was preparing to have a week off and we could not get a locum. My patients’ demands were excessive because they all wanted to see me before I went. There was shelved paperwork to be completed, my `buddy’ partner was away and I had all his post and prescriiptions to do; nurses, physiotherapists, complementary therapists and management all seemed to want my attention urgently. I was making one instant ill-judged decision after another and was getting very stressed and irritable. By Friday I was going to need the week off just to recover from its preparation.
I saw myself in a demand-led service that was insatiable. In order to cope with the workload I omitted what seemed to be less important: time to reflect, plan, organise and delegate. I had fallen into the trap I teach others to avoid. Having recovered and had time to reflect on what was happening to me, it made me realise how vital it was to build time for reflection into my daily schedule and to protect this time as the most important part of my day’s work.
Simply learning from experience
I realised that reflective learning is nothing more than you would expect from any adult learner. Adult education is lifelong. It is built on experience and aims to foster self-directed, empowered adults who are able to reflect critically on their professional and personal life, and on the society in which they live and work.
It should be simple to turn reflection on what you do into a learning experience, but many of us don’t find this easy. We have been brought up as scientists who study theory and not as people who find it easy to look at routine practical activity and find something to learn from it.
The educationalists have a field day with terminology and making a science out of what is just common sense. We can connect the phrase `reflective learning’ with Schon, `experiential learning’ with Kolb and, best of all, `andragogy’ with Knowles, but they are all really saying the same thing, which is, how can we learn from reflecting on what we do?
How to work smart
I am sure my week from hell could have been managed with much less stress if I had protected my reflective time. In future, I shall. Of course, if everybody had reflective time it would be much easier and routine. In my opinion, it is going to be vital for survival in general practice in the future. Paid thinking time is not a luxury any more but an essential part of our work.
FINDING TIME FOR REFLECTION
Why I believe reflective time is vital
* I cannot maintain or improve the quality of my work without reflecting on it
* The quickest way I will burn out is to be too busy to think
* Quantity without quality is dangerous
* I cannot be sued for learning, but I can be for bad practice
* Evidence of `reflection’ is likely to be a requirement for revalidation and clinical governance
* If I really can’t find 10 minutes, I am already disempowered and a `victim’
How I made the time
* Reflection time became a practice policy. We all do it, including the nurses
* It was built into the appointments system
* I learned to say `no’
* I went on a time management course
* I took the phone off the hook
* I reviewed my previous appointments – did they all really need to see me?
* I delegated responsibilities
* We developed triage systems
Guide to putting reflective learning into practice
Remember ERG: E = experience R = reflect G = set goals. Question to answer part 1 . Writers,
In “How I Found the Time for Reflective Learning,” Dr. Richard Eve explains why he believes reflection is important to his practice as a surgeon and how he fits reflection into his busy life. Reflection is a beneficial skill for a variety of learners, tasks, and goals. As we near the end of the course, it is useful to look back and consider what was learned and how it was learned, as well as what challenges arose. This reflection will help you make the most of your learning in WRTG 112 and can inform how you approach future courses and writing endeavors.
You may wish to refer to the reading “How I Found the Time for Reflective Learning” in your responses to this discussion.
Initial post (by Friday, October 8):
Respond to the following in 2 to 3 paragraphs:
(1) What challenges did you face in our course, and how did you handle them? Would you respond differently to those challenges in future courses?
(2) Has your attitude towards writing changed during this course? Why or why not?
(3) Consider the aspirations you identified in Week 1. As the course nears an end, do you believe your learning in Introduction to Writing has been effective in helping you move toward your goals? Why or why not? You might mention aspects of your way of working in the course and or elements of the course itself. Part 2 Introspection is valuable in developing ourselves, but we cannot discount the value of learning from those around us. Select at least one peer and comment on what aspects of that person’s experience were instructive or helpful for you. How did the person help you think about things in a different way? person I chose: reflection
Contains unread posts
Amaralee Gamboa posted Oct 6, 2021 6:02 AM Subscribe
During the beginning of class I noticed that I was struggling with the way that I write. Before taking this class I thought it would be fairly easy to pass but I was wrong. I always thought of myself as a well rounded writer until I took this class. It made me realize that I actually needed some help with how I use punctuation marks and correctly formatting citations. Receiving feedback in our discussions really helped me see my writing from a different perspective. Looking at the content before beginning any discussions or assignments really helped me as well as visiting the UMGC library. I will definitely continue to research or ask questions when I don’t understand or need help with something.
My idea of writing has changed tremendously and after taking this course I find it more enjoyable. As someone who overthinks every situation, I have learned to take some time and reflect on what I need to do and how to achieve it. I feel like I have learned a lot during these 8 weeks. I believe that I have achieved some of my goals that I wrote in my aspirations by expanding my learning and how to write a proper paper. I was not always one to ask questions or help but I was open to taking any help I could get during my time in this class. I think overall rereading the content and information I was provided, as well as using the library has helped me understand more about writing and what goes into it.