Evaluation of the use of guided reflective journals during clinical learning and practice by undergraduate nursing students at the Durban University of Technology
Mahlanze, Hazel Thokozani
MetadataShow full item record
Background The Council for Higher Education and the South African Nursing Council accredit institutions with learning and assessment practices which aim to develop and prepare graduates to be critical thinkers. The undergraduate nursing programme at the Durban University of Technology introduced the writing of reflective journals by their students in 2011. Students submitted journals of poor quality which lacked reflection. Aim of the study The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of guided reflective journals by assessing the levels of reflection of the undergraduate nursing students during clinical learning and practice. Methodology An exploratory sequential mixed methods design, using quantitative and qualitative paradigm, was used for this study. A purposive sample of 40 participants was used to collect data. A perceptions questionnaire was administered to the 40 participants to determine their perceptions on how they experienced writing of the reflective journals. Content analysis was used to analyse the written content of the reflective journals. Descriptive statistics such a Chi-square goodness of fit and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test were used determine levels of reflections and the differences in the first and second journals. Lincoln and Guba’s 1985 criteria for trustworthiness were applied to the study. Results Analysis of the journals revealed lower levels of reflection in the first reflective journal compared to improved levels in the second journal. Furthermore, the participants generally expressed writing of reflective journals as a valuable tool in professional, personal development as well as clinical learning. Levels of reflection and development of reflective practice will be greatly enhanced if all involved in nurse education will actively participate in encouraging writing of reflective journals by student nurses.