The turning of the year is often a time for reflection and making plans. Osteopaths are encouraged to be reflective practitioners. Maybe you have already been making some plans for this year. Have you thought about how you are going to turn those plans to actions?
Reflection is a really important part of your work and is encouraged in the practice standards. It will help you to avoid stagnation, complacency and loss of focus in your professional development. Record your reflections and they can be used as part of your CPD portfolio.
There are three aspects that you could reflect on:
- Your clinical work
- Your practice
- Your work – life balance
1) Clinical Work
Think about your clinic, particularly over the last year. Is there a particular patient that springs to mind? – something that went really well, something that didn’t go well. Are there particular conditions that you enjoy treating, or conditions or patient groups that make your heart sink? Is there an area of practice you would like to specialise in?
Identify something – it can be positive or negative – and spend time reflecting on that aspect of your clinic work. Turn your reflection into specific actions to improve your clinic work over the next year.
2) Your Practice
Consider your practice – the day to day running of your clinic. Are you confident in your procedures – your notes, your complaints procedures, consent, first aid etc. Are there areas to refresh training or changes that need to be made? Are your staff well-trained? How do your facilities look? What improvements could you make?
Identify specific areas of your practice and plan the actions that need to be taken to make improvements.
3) Your work-life balance
Consider how your osteopathic work is fitting in with the rest of your life, are you practicing how and where you would like to be? What are your long-term goals? Have you planned your breaks for this year?
Identify where you need to make changes and how you are going to bring those about. Gilly Woodhouse has a nice article encouraging reflection in this area here.
It can be helpful to use reflective models to direct your thinking. For example:
- Opportunities, Threats, Strengths, Weaknesses – this will help you to identify areas for learning/development, and areas to promote
- Gibbs Model, John’s model and Driscol’s model – these all guide you through a cycle of thinking. Identify one aspect as suggested above and then use the reflective cycle to guide you through your thinking about that area. These models are all freely available online.
You can use Mint resources to help you make changes. The Mint folder contains the reflective models and encourages you to become a reflective practitioner. If you want to make improvements in your practice our resources will help you to easily implement the necessary changes in accordance with the GOsC Practice Standards. You can buy the complete folder or download the module on reflection through our shop.
We hope you have an enjoyable and successful year of practice in 2017 and can look back at the end of the year and be encouraged by the progress that you have made.