their personal knowledge to deal with any given situation, and can beconsidered as a means of problem solving (Schon 1983). This means of problem solving is essential in the modern practice of nursing, were theclinical environment is often complex and produces a variety of issueswhich require a range of approaches and problem solving techniques.
What Is Reflection; Defining the Concept:
There are numerous definitions for the concept of reflection available inthe literature (Dewey 1933, Schon 1983, Johns 2002, Gamble andBrennan 2008). Johns (2004) describes reflection as being self awareeither during or after an experience. Gustafsson & Fagerberg (2004) viewreflection as an instrument, a tool which allows the practitioner tocontinually develop. According to Nicholl & Higgins (2004) reflection letsthe practitioner tap into a knowledge base that has been gained fromexperience and allows them to make connections between theory andpractice. However Duffy (2008) makes claims that reflection is poorlydefined in the literature and must be considered to be much more than aninformal deliberation and can only occur when one questions the effects of prior learning. Platzer
(2000) concurs with Duffy (2008) in that theyboth claim that in order for reflection to be more potent and purposeful, itmust include the use of a framework which will provide and encouragestructure which will guide the reflective process.Reflective practice is not a static process but is an active process, onewhich continually allows the practitioner to explore a range of experiencesand helps them to identify any challenges to the process as well as theadvantages of reflective practice (Maggs & Biley 2000). Reflection is avery worthwhile approach, but it does require the successful practitioner toreadily invest time and energy in the process (Kyrkjebo & Hage 2005).