Anxiety, accuracy and reflection: the limits of professional development



Reflection is a key concept in the development and maintenance of nursing expertise in theory and practice, yet commentators have rarely examined difficulties associated with it This paper describes the role of reflection in nursing and relates it to information-processing accounts of human memory The issues raised by the role of memory in mediating reflection are discussed, in the context of an examination of the importance of accuracy in reflection-on-practice It is argued that anxiety is of particular importance in mediating accurate reflection Whilst it is concluded that reflection is inherently flawed, a range of tactics to enhance it are explored, with particular emphasis on anxiety reduction and reduction of the burden of the memory task