Thinking About What You’ve Learned: Key to Improving Care

Renner, Kimmerie, et. al publishing in JMIR “Web-Based Apps for Reflection: A Longitudinal Study With Hospital Staff” examines how a web based app can improve reflection which is a key component of learning and aids us our ability to apply new knowledge to previous experiences in order to create new learning. Reflection does not just happen since it is complex and demands the learner develop skills on reflection. 

One area where reflection and reflective thinking are broadly researched topics is in the health care sector. A special focus of previous research has been on the education of nurses and physicians. In hospitals, reflection helps the staff combine theory and practice and enables them to turn experiences into learning opportunities. In this way, reflection and reflective work behavior foster continuing professional development. Research findings in this field suggest, however, that reflectivity is indeed not an easily applied skill. Instead, guidance and support are needed to achieve higher levels of reflection.

The study had 167 employees from a hospital participated. They were involved in user studies and workshops to better understand reflective behavior and the needs of the hospital staff. Each was provided with devices and apps. The apps they were given were DocTrainCLinIC-The Virtual Tutor, and Talk Reflection

The primary findings to test whether the introduction of apps that support reflection would affect staffs actual reflection behavior at work. 

As expected, there was a positive relationship between reflection behavior and job satisfaction, indicating that higher levels of collaborative reflection processes go along with enhanced job satisfaction among participants in the hospital. This further supports the findings of other authors regarding a relationship between informal learning and job satisfaction as introduced above. The content of our collaborative reflection scale suggests that being provided with sufficient time to reflect, reflecting collaboratively in a team, and discussing work with a supervisor go along with a higher level of job satisfaction.

This is an excelelnt read but more importantly it offers a way to help medical student and all HCP improve their ability to apply what they’ve learned to their experiences to produce new knowledge that improves care. 

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