Career advice

Reflective writing workshop proves a hit

Reflection is a key part of revalidation, but reflective writing is not always easy for nurses. Amanda Haugh and Emma Silvey from Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust explain how their workshops are helping nurses become competent and confident in reflective writing.

Reflection is a key part of revalidation, but reflective writing is not always easy for nurses. Amanda Haugh and Emma Silvey from Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust explain how their workshops are helping nurses become competent and confident in reflective writing

reflective
Picture: iStock

Writing reflective accounts is an integral part of the revalidation process of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), but reflective writing can cause anxiety for some nurses, especially those who have been out of formal education for a while.

To support nursing staff through this aspect of revalidation we developed a joint reflective writing workshop, holding the first session in January 2017. Collaborating in this way enabled us to combine our expertise and share the workload of planning and delivering the programme.

The one-hour workshops are held twice a month, and consist of an introductory presentation followed by a group discussion on a sample topic. This introduces participants to the concept of reflective discussion, another essential component of revalidation.

Vital to success

Attendees are then given the opportunity to write an individual reflection using the NMC revalidation template, which they can submit as one of their five required reflections.

Following initial feedback, we changed the structure so that the individual reflective writing section immediately followed the presentation, with the discussion at the end. There was a danger that if the discussion section overran, attendees would not have time to complete a reflection for their portfolio, which we felt was vital to the success of the workshop.

To ensure the sessions are relevant to practice, we ask attendees to consider topics they would like to reflect on and give them questions to guide them, such as:

  • What was I trying to achieve in this situation?
  • What factors were influencing me?
  • Why did I feel the way I did?
  • How does this situation relate to my previous experiences?

Unexpected interest

The workshop was publicised through the trust’s e-learning system, weekly email newsletter to all staff and library newsletter. To date we have held 17 workshops, with a total of 49 attendees.

Feedback has been positive, and workshops are now booked until the end of December. We are also considering developing more in-depth follow-up sessions to build on this learning.

One unexpected development has been the level of interest from other healthcare staff, such as doctors and allied health professionals. At present, the content and templates are focused on NMC revalidation requirements, but preparing content for other professionals, such as alternative writing templates, could lead to the development of a multi-professional session that would go beyond the initial focus on revalidation.


The authors wish to thank to East of England regional library colleagues for sharing their reflective writing presentations and permission to reuse content when designing their presentation.

amanda
Amanda Haugh

emma
Emma Silvey

Amanda Haugh is nurse revalidation co-ordinator and Emma Silvey is assistant librarian at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Essex.

 

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