Reflective practice is a term used in education. The concept for the first time was introduced by Donald Alan Schön in his book “The Reflective Practitioner” (1983). It refers to a continuous process of consideration of critical incidents in his own life experiences from a personal perspective. As proposed by Schön, reflective practice involves the systematic questioning of the experiences of each supported by a group of professionals in the same discipline. There is a structure set in a practice of this approach, as it is important to understand and learn from the unique experiences and self-regulated processes, according to Schön, D. (1983). According to Introduction to developing reflective practice (2010), this practice is fairly widespread among professionals in education and health, although it is available to all professional fields.
In the field of medicine, clinical reflective practice refers to the process that makes the future specialists of the area to study the specifics and approaches of the medicine, and to determine the most appropriate of them for their students. By some professionals there have been developed the learning models to lay the foundations of teacher training to promote a training process that contributes to the production of a real qualitative change, since it is a model that is rooted in the real and growing staff, based on the experiences, in short, of the person and his potential, rather than on theoretical knowledge, according to Schmidt, H.G. (2004). Clinical reflective practice is important to ensure that a person has enough experience, skills and knowledge in the sphere, and will be able to improve his results and work in the future, according to Argyris, C & Schön, D (1978). Practice is one of the most essential activities that should follow after the theory. Practice leads a person to the professionalism and opens new opportunities of work and personal development.
The subject’s consciousness about the learning process (awareness) is one of the foundations of reflective learning. In the words of Richards & Lockhart (1998): “Experience is the starting point for professional development, but to ensure they play a productive role, we must examine it systematically.” Thus, the observation becomes another key element in the method, namely self-observed and co-observed. So collateral, but not trivial, recording audio and video practices provide authentic information to base the analysis, according to Rolfe, G. (2001). The role of trainer is resolved in the collaborative accompaniment, rather than prescriptive.
In case of the health professionals, it is essential to learn from experience and to ensure the lifelong learning, which will be possible only with the clinical reflective practice. Nowadays, the demand on the healthcare professionals’ expertise is high due to the considerable progress and growth in the medical area. Healthcare professionals will definitely benefit from the program of clinical reflective practice, as it will develop their knowledge base and skills, along with the unique experience. As well, the patients will benefit from the clinical reflective practice of the healthcare professionals, as they will receive the more qualified help and assistance. Health care professionals will face new learning situations, new approaches and solutions during the clinical reflective practice.
All in all, it can be stated that clinical reflective practice is beneficial for the professionals in medicine and health, and the perspectives that the practice will open, will be important for the further career. Clinical reflective practice will promote the self-directed professionals, new ways of development, improvement of the quality of care and will help to find out innovative approaches. This way, with the help of the clinical reflective practice, the gap between the theory and practice will be closed.