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January 24, 2022

Driscoll’s Model of Reflection For Nursing Students

Driscoll-Model of Reflection

There is no such thing as a ‘Perfect’ Model of Reflection. T he nursing students first have to assess the case scenario and then apply the most appropriate framework. However, the Driscoll Model of Reflection is unique as it focuses more on the self-reflection aspect rather than individual experience. The model of reflection does not have a rigid structure. The students can modify the framework and apply questions that are not part of the framework. Although Driscoll Model of Reflection follows the “What?” structure, the nursing aspirants are free to include questions on their own.

Let us take a look at the Driscoll Model of Reflection, without wasting time.

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What Do You Get To Learn From Driscoll Model of Reflection 2007?

All the occupational therapists (especially, the nurses) need to understand the personal reflection model to take their evaluation skill to the next level. Whether you are writing an assignment or conducting an examination of the patient, Driscoll Model of Reflection becomes necessary.

The ‘What?’ reflection framework structured by Driscoll in the year 2007 is officially known as the Driscoll Model of Reflection 2007. Moreover, it is also known as “What?” “So What?” “Now What?” model. But, what are the main points of the model? Let us have a look at the subject matter.

  • “What?” Stage

If you have experience in the clinical practice, you will have to handle healthcare issues daily. ‘What?’ is the primary step of the entire Driscoll Model of Reflection process.

In this step, you need to have a detailed insight into the case scenario. For instance, when a patient approaches you for consultation, you need to conduct a background check on the medical history of the patient. Based on the information acquired, you need to proceed with the next step.

  • “So What?” Stage

After you have conducted research work on the case and applied your individual experience in the matter, you have to make a note of the findings. Furthermore, you have to decide on the course of action that would work best in that situation.

For instance, in the above mentioned case, you need to analyze the present condition of the patient and the symptoms. Basically, the application of “So What?” question helps in discovering what we learnt from the process of reflection. Then, you proceed to the next step.

  • “Now What?’ Stage

Once the investigation process is over, you have to make a decision on the proper course of action. In addition to this, you need to reflect on the case and analyze whether the steps were effective in curing the patient.

For instance, in the above mentioned example, you can assess whether the medicines applied to the patient were justified. Through the Driscoll Model of Reflection 2007, you will thus be able to enhance your evaluation skill and add that to your experience.

Driscoll Model of Reflection 2007

(Source: https://www.fons.org/Resources/Documents/Journal/Vol2No2/IDPJ_0202_10.pdf)

The cycle continues in this fashion. You will be able to comprehend the topic in the next section when you come across the trigger questions. You will be able to follow what has been discussed in this section.

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What Are The Driscoll Model of Reflection References?

There are certain trigger questions associated with the “What?” model of Reflection. If you haven’t been able to decipher the working principle of the Driscoll Model, this section will shed light on the important Driscoll Model of Reflection references.

While you are:

A.  Figuring Out the Event

‘What?’ trigger questions:

  • Happened?
  • Was my reaction?
  • Is the purpose of returning to the situation?
  • Was the contribution of the other people involved in the case?
  • Did I witness?

B. Analyzing the Event

So What?’ trigger questions along the line:

  • Were my feelings at the time of the event?
  • Are my feelings presently? Is it any different from what I had to endure during the time of the event?
  • Were the positive aspects of the event?
  • The changes in the behaviour and practice following the conclusion of the event?

C.  Deciding On The Proposed Action

‘Now What?’ trigger questions following the conclusion of the event. You might have thoughts like:

  • What are the immediate implications of me in clinical practice based on the analysis of the event?
  • Where can I acquire further information on the case that I just handled?
  • Which ‘aspects’ should be addressed first if I face a similar case?
  • What is the key element that I learnt from the reflection?
  • How will I be able to assess my improvement in clinical practice?

These are certain Driscoll Model of Reflection references that will enable you to take your evaluation skill and knowledge to the next level.

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What Are the Driscoll Model of Reflection Advantages?

As mentioned before, there is no one perfect model for writing a reflective essay on the assessment of a patient or a healthcare situation.

There exist several frameworks like the Gibbs Reflective Cycle, Schon Model, Kolb Reflective Cycle. Each has its application in the field of clinical treatment process and nursing. Now the question arises, what are the advantages of following Driscoll Model of Refection in the nursing assignments? What makes it so unique out of the available model of reflection? Let’s find out.

  • Ability To Assess the Complex Situation Easily

The three stem question “What?” “So What?” “Now What?” model is a properly organized framework, and it is extremely easy to analyze. It enables the health professionals to share knowledge with others, thereby improving the ability to assess a complex situation (e.g., critical condition of a patient).

  • Continuing The Professional Development Process

The reflective practice is an integral part of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), required by all healthcare professionals and nurses. The Driscoll Model is different from the other models as it focuses on the reflection process rather than the individual experience. It also helps in maintaining the growth and development process through a perfect blend of theory and practice.

  • Helps the Professionals Assess Their Skills

The Driscoll model of reflection advantage is immense. The model helps the professional to assess their decisions and skills when it comes to a particular situation. It provides a way to enhance the evaluation skill and provides an assurance that there is no end to the learning process.  It also helps the professionals to identify the strengths and weaknesses and work on the shortcomings.

Now that you know about the Driscoll Model of Reflection advantages, you can properly assess the medical situation and apply the steps accordingly.

  • Are There Any Driscoll Model of Reflection Examples?

Instances are always the best way to clear out doubts in the minds of the students. Unless you take a look at a proper example, you won’t be able to make head or tail out of the assignment. Hence we will be analyzing a case scenario through Driscoll Model of Reflection Example.

Let us assume that the context of the example is related to the treatment of a patient, Mrs Smith, having an impairment.


In this reflective essay, I will be highlighting the nursing skill that I developed during my internship program, using Driscoll’s (2007) reflective cycle, to showcase my ability to reflect on the various nursing skill. As per the standard Driscoll Model of Reflection, I will be explaining What, So What and Now What questions that helped me polish my evaluation skills.

The skill will portray the dignity and its significance in relation to Mrs Smith, an elderly patient, having hearing problems and unable to maintain his balance while walking. The nursing actions that will maintain Mrs Smith‘s dignity will be mentioned in the essay.

Skill A

I was involved in the care of Mrs Smith, who was diagnosed with dementia. Dementia is a chronic syndrome which leads to deterioration in the memory, behaviour and the ability to execute daily tasks. Mrs Smith neglected her hygiene routine as a consequence of this condition.

Dignity refers to ‘being treated with respect’. Usually, when people reach an advanced age, they are helpless and feel embarrassed due to the inability of conducting daily tasks. However, it was my responsibility to uphold and promote dignity. It was an important aspect of my nursing skill that I do not hurt her self-respect.

The concept of dignity was directly associated with her privacy, autonomy, self-worth and identity. Had dignity not been present during the entire treatment, Mrs Smith would have felt demotivated, that would affect her mental health further.

Hence, it was my responsibility to address her hearing impairment issue, along with reminding her primary hygiene skills. She had to be treated with care and affection. I learnt that nursing is not only restricted to providing service, rather getting to know the patient on a human level. Respect is thus the summary of good communication, courtesy and spending time with the patient.

I had to assist her in every activity as she was unable to maintain her balance, as stated earlier. I had to make sure that I did not degrade her self respect despite her condition (being wet with urine all the time as she kept on forgetting).

As per the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Conduct, Mrs Smith’s dignity is my primary concern. Somewhere down the line, my kind nature helped her heal more quickly than anyone could have assumed.

In conclusion, my knowledge on the concept of dignity and its significance to health care and the benefit to the service users increased. NMC has played a pivotal role in upholding dignity irrespective of race, sex, etc.

Hopefully, this short Driscoll Model of Reflection example will help you out in understanding the concept of the framework while writing the essay. Try to analyze the example considering the trigger questions of the framework. Then only you will be able to come up with unique content.

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What is John’s Model of Reflection?

Christopher Johns designed his model of structured reflection (John 2006) by analysing the dialogue between practitioners and their supervisors who worked with him throughout the learning experience.

John’s model is based on essential five cue questions which enable one to break down the experience and reflect on the process and outcomes. He used seminal work by Carper as the basis for his reflective model exploring aesthetics, personal knowledge, ethics, and empirics.

There are two sets of related processes in this model; looking in, then looking outwards.

Looking In:

First, the practitioner is asked to look inwards upon themselves and recall the experience being analysed. He/she is asked to pen down a descriptive account of the situation, paying attention to the emotions conjured up in the moment of the event being reflected upon. It is also crucial to focus on those emotions and other thoughts which has been provoked since then.

Looking Out:

The looking out the element of this model of reflection is structured around five sets of questions. These are-

  • Aesthetic Questions- Aesthetic here means questions raised in about one’s sensory perceptions.
  • Personal- Personal questions relate to the self-examination process.
  • Ethical- Ethical questions in this model relate to the coherence of your actions when compared to your moral and professional codes.
  • Contextual- The contextual element of the model asks the practitioner to consider if there were environmental or other factors acting on you from outside.
  • Reflective- The process of working through the reflective cycle has generated evidence-based upon observations, and that leads the practitioner to able to make assessments.

John’s reflective model is useful as it encourages reflection, taking into consideration a range of standpoints. However, this model may be limited in use as it focusses on the analysis of specific individual events rather than on wider questions.

What Is Rolfe Reflective Model?

Professor Gary Rolfe and colleagues (2001) formulated another useful framework for self-reflection in their book ‘Framework for Reflective Practice’. It is perhaps one of the simplest reflective models in nursing as it based on asking three simple questions: What? So What? Now What?

However, this does not mean that reflections should remain superficial, but should be as comprehensive as possible.


The first stage is a simple and mere description of what happened. It also includes the experience you would like to analyse and take forward for your own learning.

So what?

Once the description has been completed carefully, you are required to ask yourself what the experience and situation means. To this end, you would need to consult literature and colleagues if you aim to get a comprehensive insight into the matter. Otherwise, you can rely only on your own interpretations.

Now what?

In the last stage, consider the steps you will be taking to improve your practice and learn from the initial experience. You ought to complete a simple action plan with key pointers about what you would do and how would decide that your practices have improved.

As per Rolfe, tackling these three questions honestly and thoroughly would always lead to some surprising and intriguing answers.

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What is Borton’s Model Of Reflection?

Borton’s development framework is fairly straightforward and easy to implement reflective writing models of nursing. The framework was developed and published in a book known as Read, Touch, andTeach by an American school teacher, Terry Borton. Within this book, he created a “What, So What, Now What” sequence of reflective education that makes it appealing.


In this part of the process, you explain what has happened about a task, event, or experience. It should describe succinctly what has happened, what you, and others have been doing.

So What?

This is an analysis of the event in detail. This is where you try to make sense of what has happened in the situation you described and to consider what you could have done differently. In the opinion of Barton The So What stage is rational, intellectual cognitive- delving into the meaning of what has just happened….”

Now What?

These are the proposed actions following an event, experience, lesson, and the likes. This is the stage that requires you to think about what you are going to do next and what the consequences of your action might be.

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Writing a reflective assignment based on the Driscoll Model of Reflection requires a lot of research work and analysis. Most students are unable to invest time due to other engagements like exam preparation and extracurricular activities. But, you have to submit the helping assignment at some point of time, right? This is where MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk steps in.

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Bella Phillips

Bella Phillips is an essay writer at Myassignmenthelp.co.uk who is associated with the company for the past six years. She has finished her master's degree from the University of South West England and has served as a guest lecturer at several colleges.

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