Driscoll Model of Reflection: An Intuitive Guide

Driscoll Model of Reflection: An Intuitive Guide


Driscoll model is a reflective model used by nurses all around the world to analyze events, situations, reactions and actions. It is a framework that is quite convenient and beginner-friendly. So, even the newbies can use and implement this model. This model is used for reflective writing and getting the perfect information from the patient about the events, actions and reactions. Although this method is underrated it is one of the most used ones across the nursing professionals. So, let’s dive deeper into the driscoll model and find more benefits of it.

Driscoll Model of Reflection:

In 1994, John Driscoll developed a model for reflective analyzing and gathering the information of an event for better treatment which is known as the Driscoll Model of Reflection. In 2004, and in 2007 It was revised and became the simplest framework for reflective writing.

Basically, the model is created on the three questions that Terry Borton proposed. And that is the reason why this is also known as the Driscoll/Borton model of reflection. Because it is one of the easiest and simplest models for beginners. So, that every beginner can use the driscoll model. And practice reflective writing as well as train for the future. Because of the easy steps to use it has been so easy for someone to get the most out of a situation. The model is a whole process of seven stages. But it has three sections or stages. So, let’s talk about the three stages of the model. And how it is beneficial for the nursing students and professionals.

Three Steps of Driscoll Model:

The model has seven stages but is separated by making three steps or sections. And all the three sections are connected to the actions and the questions of the event or situation. Model of driscoll is the second model after the Borton model in the 1970s and this simplifies plenty of things for the nurses while practicing. The three sections or steps work too well on the situations and help them with as much information as they can. Three sections of the driscoll model are “What”, “So, What”. and “Now What”. So, let’s look more into the sections of the model and its usage with benefits.

First Stage “WHAT?”:

The three questions that I mention just above are the three basic questions that help the nurses to analyze, learn and use the information in the favor of the patient. And this establishes a better version of the nurses and enhances the abilities to become better.

The First Stage in the driscoll model is “What” is all about the circumstances and the context of the reflection. And this creates a strong base of the reflection for the next two stages or sections. This section involves some basic but essential questions and it includes:

1) There is a lengthy explanation of the event, Subject, Situation or incident.

2) Questions and all the information related to the exact event or incident and what happened. Or what actions are taken on the event or incident.

3) Information and questions about the initial information and experience like how you felt. And what are the reactions at that time?

Second-Stage “So What?”:

The second stage of the driscoll model revolves around the reactions, characters and the experience of the reflection. The teachers often ask questions related to this stage in the assignment. So, that is why you should know about it. Or you can take nursing assignment help from anyone to make it better. So, let’s talk about the questions at this stage.

1) The Negative and Positive aspects of the incident or event.

2) The reaction and the cause of that certain reaction.

3) What is the thinking of the evaluator related to the incident, situation or event.

4) Is there is any hand of the past experiences in the actions and reactions. And if so, then how?

5) Is there anyone else present and if so, then what are their reactions?

The second stage of the driscoll model fill up the structure. And the evaluator after this stage has the information about the actions, reactions, responses, and other events related to that.

Third Stage “Now What?”:

The third section or stage is “Now What?” where the actions, responses, and the reactions come under investigation. And what is the impact of the actions and reactions? This stage has a great significance in this driscoll model. And the questions of this stage are:

1) What is the learning and deduction after analyzing one?

2) What are the results? And are there any methods present to prevent it?

3) Is there anything that could make the result better or improve?

4) According to the evaluator, what is the useful information that could help in the future to handle these kinds of circumstances?

5) What are the things to keep in mind or to prepare to face that kind of incident?

So, these are the three stages of the driscoll model. And the questions related to each stage. And because every stage has its own importance. So, by practicing it and using it could help the nurses to become better. And now let’s talk on why it is using in the nursing and its pros and cons.

Usage of the Driscoll Model in Nursing:

Nursing is all about taking as good care of the patient as possible. And for that the nurses have to gather the information of the patient in the best way and be clear. So that the nurses can analyze their situation, and suggest medical treatment. Or the other methods to help them recover fast.

Collecting the information by using the driscoll model will help the nurses to note down all the actions, reactions, responses and everything related to a certain incident. The model is beginner-friendly and efficient for the beginners. So, that is why the beginners who just entered the field want to learn from the experiences and practice the method of effective gathering of information.

For instance, you can say that if an emergency happens or an incident takes place. So, the first stage which is the “What” stage will help the nurses to understand the happening of the event. The nurses ask the related questions and this will help them establish a thinking. Then the second stage comes where they dive more in the detail and assess the actions, reactions, or the experience. And the third section will help decide the final result or the essential proceedings required.

So, now let’s talk about the pros and cons of using the driscoll model.

Pros and Cons of using Driscoll Model:

Although the driscoll model of reflection is very simple and easy to use. But with simplicity there are also some drawbacks. So, explore both pros and cons of it.


1) The first advantage of using this model is that it is the easiest one that enables it for the beginners to use and implement.

2) Another benefit of this is that it is applicable in every situation and under every circumstance.

3) The first model of 1994 just has three sections and is not that brief. While the other ones of the model like the 2004 and the 2007 are much more brief. And easy to implement.

4) Firstly, it is perfect for the beginners to start their career. And open their mind of choosing the perfect model. Secondly, it enhances their critical thinking.


1) The nurse should ask the questions as per the stages and the process. As it is a standard practice. And ignoring the steps might end-up being an unnecessary treatment. Or false treatment. And that is why if a beginner is doing that. So, he/she should be careful while doing that.

2) Although the questions are simple of the driscoll model. But sometimes it will be difficult to find the right question and the sequence of the question.

3) It is applicable in many circumstances. But it is not that effective everywhere. And for that the nurses have to choose other models.

4) Learning about the driscoll model might be easy. But implementing it could be hard for the newbies.

Practical Example of the Driscoll Model of Reflection:

This is the example of the driscoll model where a nurse is present in a surgical ward. And this example includes challenges, actions, reactions, and responses. You can also take nursing essay help for understanding the concepts more clearly.

First Stage “WHAT?”:

I was present at the surgical ward with Senior Dr. XXXX. And it was an emergency case of the appendicitis where the appendicitis is in the worst condition.

After the examination the doctor comes to the conclusion that the appendix is full of infection. And open surgery is the need of the time. And they have to remove the appendix.

The patient also has Hepatitis B which makes the doctors more precautionary while choosing the needles and the medicines or procedures. The senior doctors advise me to take notes to handle this situation in an efficient and professional manner.

The Second Stage “So What?”:

The operation is successful though, But the patient got Hepatitis B because of me. It is because I didn’t take the necessary precautions. And didn’t take the precautionary instructions seriously. My first reaction is obviously complete disappointment and sadness. And the doctors that are doing the operation are also not satisfied with my performance and they are in sorrow too. But they quickly take the necessary actions. And this helps me gain the experience and the effects of carelessness. And noting this through the driscoll model will help me remember that. So, I will never do it again.

I also learn the significance of principles & rules set by the professionals. And why they are so important to follow. And this will become an important lesson for me to remember.

The Third Stage “Now What?”:

This sudden issue gives me experience to handle the situation perfectly. What to do in this situation and how to do it. And by reflecting on the event and analyzing it I. Now, I am able to take specific actions on the situation.

I will learn in depth as I could about the procedures and the infections of the patients. And will follow each and every step of the nursing codes. And I will also try to give my best. So, the procedure will not become difficult for the senior doctors.

This is a basic example of the driscoll model. In which you saw how this model helps the nurse to focus on the mistakes. Also, do the right things. And what actions, responses, and reactions should be used to handle this.


Q1) What are three types of models of reflection?

Answer) The three types of models of reflection are: 1) Driscoll model of reflection, 2) Gibbs model of reflection 3) Experience-reflection model.

Q2) Why Nurses use the Driscoll model of reflection?

Answer) Using the reflection model makes it easier for the nurses to analyze and to take several actions as per the need of the situation and event. And write down all the important and relevant information about the event. So, that it will be helpful for others not to do and to prevent.  Or to take the necessary actions if the situation occurs.

Q3) Who is the inventor of the Driscoll model of reflection?

Answer) John Driscoll is the one who develop the model in 1994. And it is created with the help of the reflective writing statements of Terry Borton. And it also revised in 2004, and 2007. After the revision it becomes more clear with more stages.

Lastly, using this model will help the ones who are beginners. Or just beginning in the nursing field. So, that is why it is very significant in the nursing field.

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