What is reflective practice?
This is a way of studying or analysing your own experiences so that you can make improvements on the way you approach your day to day work. It is about examining the work or duties you carry out on a daily basis and identifying areas that require additional support and development. It is also a way of recognising those things that you do very well and sharing this knowledge and also ensuring that you approach all other duties with the same enthusiasm. Reflective practice can also involve thinking about an event after it happens, critically evaluating your actions and making adjustments if necessary.
Why is reflective practice important?
Reflective practice is important so that you can provide the best possible service for those you support on a day to day basis. It also helps you to grow professionally and personally by identifying training or personal development needs. The nature of work in the sector also requires a fresh approach and attitude to problems and situations because you will be supporting individuals, and this is only possible with reflective practice. It also very good practice to reflect on your daily work as this makes you more competent. Reflective practice is also important for personal development planning.
How reflective practice contributes to improving the quality of service provision When you as an individual reflect on your work, the way you approach your work and the way you deliver a service, you make small or big changes that make the services overall better. Imagine all your work colleagues taking the same process of thinking about their work and identifying ways they could have approached situations or critically evaluating their work? Collectively as a team the Service Provider, in this case the Organisation you work for will have better services that meet the needs of the service users. In other words the service provided will be of better value, put customer needs first and good quality.
How standards can be used to help a social care worker reflect on their practice? Being a social care worker is not an exact science and there are no “ formulas” that define how to do the role because you work with people who are individuals and should be treated as do to promote person-centred care. However, national minimum standards are set and these standards help in ensuring high quality provision of services. Standards can be used so that when reflecting on your practice you are meeting them and continually improving and adapting them to cater for individual’s needs. Standards are set to help social care workers work at the same level and above and by reflecting either in groups or as individuals they can maintain or improve on them.
2. Meeting notes for feedback
Why is it important for a social care worker to seek feedback on performance? Seeking feedback is always a very good way of evaluating ones work. It is also important because it helps the social care worker to improve on ways of working they may need to and also to help work in the best way possible. The drawback of feedback can be that it may deter some people from working in the industry and it can be daunting to know we don’t always get it right. Criticism alone can make the worker feel hopeless but constructive criticism provides a solution and makes the situation less hopeless.
The different ways that people may react to receiving constructive feedback Some people will take on board the feedback they are given and put it in practice thereby improving their performance. Feedback can be positive and it is important to continue working to the same level in the areas where positive feedback has been given. Feedback can also be constructive but it is equally important to take it on board and see it as lessons learned and improve. People will take feedback differently be it positive or negative. Some people can become overconfident when given positive feedback thereby slackening in their work yet others will seek to improve even further. Some people can take negative feedback really hard and think they are not cut out to work in the health and social care sector. It is important to remember that feedback should be taken positively to improve on practice and become the best possible social care worker one can be.
Why is it important for a social care worker to use the feedback to improve their practice? Feedback informs a social care worker on the areas of their work that may need improving which would improve the lives of the service users they support. By taking on board feedback they can also identify any further training or skills required. What’s important to remember is as a social care worker you are caring for people who should be treated with kindness, respect and dignity and this should be evident in your day to day work. It is not easy for anyone to have a stranger “ caring” for them and any little you can do to make them safe and valued will go a long way in providing holistic person-centred care. This is only possible if feedback is used positively and used to improve practice.
Personal Development Plan
R Not Started
How will I know it has been achieved
Reduce waste and promote green strategy
Good practice and compliance to company strategy.
An evident reduction in paper waste, scribbled notes, unnecessary emails. 3 months
Be a dementia champion within the Service
Attend dementia training and workshops.
I will train my work colleagues and families of service users with dementia. 1 year
Be a Registered Mental Health Nurse
Appraisals, Learning through work, mentoring and university attendance. Accreditation by the NMC
Goals: I should include specific things I want to achieve in my role. These can vary from being very specific to individuals I support or be linked in more with the Organisation’s strategy and vision. Measured By: How will the goals I have set be measured? Will they be measured against service specific targets or against service user satisfaction depending on the goal or by certain measures put in place to ensure I am on track? Achieved: How will I know my set goal has been achieved? Is it easily evident, is there a certificate of training etc? Timescale: Are they short-term, medium-term or long-term goals? RAG: This is colour coding for me which makes it easier to see where I am with achieving my goals. Red being not started, amber showing partial completion and green meaning achieved.
2. Explain how a PDP can help a social care worker identify improvements in their understanding and practice A PDP identifies goals that a social care worker wants to achieve and the plans or processes put in place to achieve these goals. It is reviewed on an on-going basis and this helps to understand areas that need improvements and training needed to improve those areas. A PDP is also updated continuously and shows any skills gained by the worker as well as provide a record of participation. All the knowledge they gather in meeting the goals set on the PDP is put into practice in the workplace.
3.Identify sources of support for planning and reviewing your development I can get support from my supervisor or line manager when planning and reviewing my development. I can also get support from a mentor. In this case where I am studying, my assessor can also provide support. Meetings, peer groups, supervision and appraisals can also help in planning and reviewing my development.
4. Identify people who can help you develop your knowledge, understanding and practice My line manager would be the first point of contact as they would have supervision and appraisals with me. A workplace mentor, senior staff members, qualified practitioners and colleagues with more experience can all help to develop my knowledge. Training and development managers can also help.
5.Explain how the people identified above can help you appreciate your strengths and areas for development My line manager will have in depth knowledge of how I work and will hold regular 1: 1 sessions to identify my strengths and needs. They will also hold yearly appraisals and interim development meetings. Mentors, colleagues and senior staff members will have more knowledge of the organisation’s culture and its strategy and can support me in aligning my goals towards these whilst appreciating my strengths. Training development managers have the knowledge of identifying my training needs and tailoring specific training to enhance my skills.
Describe how your own values, beliefs and personal experiences might affect your working practice Without realising it almost all my day to day decisions are affected by various circumstances in my own life. My background, culture, values and beliefs can also affect the way I work. In my personal life I will choose friends and individuals to associate with based on common beliefs and values. This can extend to the workplace where I will associate with work colleagues based on the same principles. However, the professional relationship I develop with people I support is different. It is my duty to provide the same quality for all, not just those who share similar views to mine.
In my work I will meet individuals who share very different views to mine and I need to maintain my professionalism and not treat them less favourably just because I don’t agree with their views. Strong beliefs and cultural values can also have a negative effect in the way I work which could lead to treating those whose culture might shock me less favourably. My responses might not be appropriate when there is a clash of my views and the individuals I support. Best practice is to identify what my own beliefs and values are. Being aware of factors that have influenced my personality will help me to understand that others have also been influenced by their upbringing and backgrounds. My awareness of these differences is what will ensure I perform according to the standards set by regulating bodies.
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