Oral Health Students as Reflective Practitioners: Changing Patterns of Student Clinical Reflections over a Period of 12 Months
Author: Tsang, Annetta K L
Source: Journal of Dental Hygiene, Volume 86, Number 2, Spring 2012 , pp. 120-129(10)
Publisher: American Dental Hygienists' Association
Abstract:Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the levels of reflection shown by bachelor of oral health students in relation to their clinical and professional practice.
Methods: Reflective learning was embedded as a topic in the oral health curriculum within the discipline of dental hygiene practice. Reflective journal writing was integrated with clinical practice and linked with assessment requirements. Students' reflective writing was analyzed thematically to elucidate levels of reflection based on Boud's 4 Rs of Reflection (review, react, relate and respond) over a period of 12 months. Differences in the levels of reflection at different time intervals were examined.
Results: Students' ability to critically reflect improved over the period of 12 months. The predominant level of reflection changed from primarily descriptive and superficial at the start of the academic year to primarily critical and relational by the end. As expected, the highest level of critical reflection (respond) occurred infrequently, although it became more frequent as the academic year progressed.
Conclusion: Bachelor of oral health students do reflect critically. Regular reflective writing contributed to the development of critical reflective skills in the context of clinical and professional development.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator of Oral Health at the School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Publication date: 2012-03-01