The Rolfe Reflective Model, developed by John Rolfe, Andrew Freshwater, and Susan Jasper in 2001, serves as a simple and effective reflection framework. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the model, its advantages, and the steps involved in its application. Initially designed for nursing and care teaching, the Rolfe reflective model has found utility in various disciplines due to its simplicity and clarity. It involves three stages – What? So What? and Now What? – encouraging individuals to analyze the event, its consequences, and future behavior in a cyclical manner.
What is the Rolfe Reflective Model?
Rolfe’s reflective model was initially tailored for nursing and care teaching but has since been embraced in diverse contexts due to its user-friendliness. Comprising three stages, the model prompts individuals to reflect on the event, its implications, and future actions. The cyclical nature of the model suggests a continuous process of reflection, leading to potential behavior or approach modifications.
The Steps of the Rolfe Reflective Model of Reflection
The Rolfe reflective model consists of three primary inquiries that serve as representations of various stages of reflection. Each stage begins with the question ‘What? So What? and Now What?’ and further offers follow-up questions to facilitate a thorough examination of the situation.
Here are the three steps of the Rolfe reflective model of reflection:
In this stage, individuals describe their self-awareness regarding the event or experience being reflected upon. The questions all begin with ‘What?’ and help delve into various aspects of the situation.
– What is the major problem or reason causing difficulty?
– What were the repercussions for others?
– What aspects of the experience could be improved?
– What elements of the experience were negative?
– What procedures were followed?
– What were the desired outcomes?
– What was the individual’s contribution to the circumstances?
– What best describes the situation being addressed?
– What aspects of the overall experience were positive?
– What emotions were triggered?
– What emotions were aroused within the individual?
– What emotions did others experience?
– What noteworthy comments did others make?
– What are the repercussions for the individual?
2. Now What
This stage involves generating insights and information from the previous stages. Individuals explore potential future changes and prepare for similar situations that may arise. The questions in this section all begin with ‘Now what?’
– Now, what actions should be taken to avoid similar situations in the future?
– Now, what additional dialogues need careful consideration?
– Now, what help would have been necessary to resolve the situation?
– Now, what areas need to be addressed for unexpected actions?
– Now, what steps can be taken to improve the situation?
– Now, what are the takeaways for others?
– Now, what insights have been gained from this experience?
3. So What
This stage assesses the situation under consideration and begins to evaluate the issues addressed. The questions in this section all start with ‘So what?’
– So, what unique issues are raised in this situation?
– So, what extraordinary actions can be taken in this context?
– So, what key strategies were used to address the problem?
– So, what formed the basis of the approach to the circumstance?
– So, what communication aspects are relevant to interactions with others?
– So, what constitutes the most crucial lesson from the incident?
– So, what was the thought process behind the response to the situation?
Remember, these are just suggested questions, and the reflective process may require creating additional questions as necessary. Using the provided questions as a guide can be helpful, as it might be easier to remember the three main questions than to identify the follow-up questions.
Referencing the Rolfe et al. Reflective Model
To reference the Rolfe et al. reflective model, the following details should be included in the reference list or bibliography:
– Last names of the authors followed by their initials, such as “Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., and Jasper, M.”
– Year of publication in parentheses, for example, “(2001)”
– Title of the book or article presenting the model, underlined or italicized, like “Critical reflection in healthcare professional education: A theoretical framework.”
– Name of the journal where the article was published or the book’s publisher, such as “Medical Education.”
– Issue number and volume of the journal, for example, “35(3)”
– Page numbers of the article, for example, “234-240.”
Evaluation of the Rolfe Reflective Model
Evaluating the Rolfe Reflective Model involves assessing its effectiveness in encouraging meaningful contemplation among healthcare professionals. The evaluation primarily focuses on aspects like adaptability, effectiveness in promoting deep reflection, simplicity, influence on practice and patient outcomes, significance to practice, ease of implementation, and ability to stimulate critical thinking. The evaluation can involve feedback from medical practitioners who have used the model, analysis of reflection books, or research studies to determine its impact on patient outcomes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Rolfe Model
As with any approach, the Rolfe Reflective Model has both advantages and disadvantages that set it apart from other reflective practices. Some of the advantages include:
– Assisting nurses in identifying areas for improvement and developing action plans to enhance patient outcomes.
– Encouraging consideration of moral and ethical implications of choices, leading to better decision-making.
– Offering a structured reflection method for objective analysis of experiences.
– Facilitating communication and collaboration among healthcare team members.
– Applicability in various clinical contexts.
– Enabling learning from mistakes to avoid repetition.
– Supporting ongoing professional development and accountability.
– Widely recognized and accepted in the medical field.
– Ease of comprehension and use.
However, the model also comes with some drawbacks, such as:
– The model’s specificity can be restrictive for certain situations where prior knowledge is already available.
– Reflection is an ongoing process, and the benefits may cease if not continued.
– The model may not be applicable in all cases, as some situations require immediate action without analysis.
– The decision-making process can be time-consuming due to the thoroughness of the model.
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