Mentoring and Enabling Learning in the Practice Setting

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Mentoring and enabling learning in the practice setting

A reflective account of my experience of facilitating learning, assessing and teaching a student or co-worker, and how this experience will inform my future development within the mentor or practice teacher role.

Student Number: 2930211

Word Count: 3150

Part 1: Introducing the Mentorship role

I am a band five registered paediatric nurse based on an orthopaedic and spinal surgical ward in a tertiary paediatric hospital. I am currently engaging in completing my training to become a qualified mentor. This reflective account details my experiences assessing, teaching and facilitating the learning of a student during their practice based learning, and how this experience may affect my future practice.

Throughout the account, in order to protect the identities of people, trust and clinical setting involved confidentiality will be maintained via the use of pseudonyms or omission of names (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2008a).

The function of practice based learning is to provide experience, serving an important role in developing the skills of the student in interacting with patients and their families assisting in technical, psychomotor, interpersonal and communication skills (Ali and Panther, 2008). Practice based learning provides an opportunity to link theory and practice, and promotes professional identity development (Fishel and Johnson, 1981). Practice based learning is also crucial in the profession of nursing due to the vocational nature of the work, and necessity of assessing clinical competency and safeguarding the public (Rutowski, 2007). By ensuring specific standards are met with assessment in practice, it effectively ensures that students are fit for practice at point of registration (NMC, 2004).

My demonstration of demonstrating my eligibility to supervise and assess students in a practice setting and successful completion of the NMC approved mentorship programme will allow me to meet the definition of a mentor (NMC, 2004), and perform an important role that every nurse has to assume formally, sooner or later (Ali and Panther 2008, Figure 1)

Figure 1. (Synthesised using NMC 2008b, Rutowski 2007, Beskine 2009)

Part 2 The NMC Standards

In order to ensure that there is a set level for supporting learning and assessment in practice, the NMC devised and provided a set of standards for which mentors, practice teachers and teachers are required to meet (NMC 2008b, Ali and Panther, 2008).The agreed mandatory requirements include a developmental framework, the standards, and information regarding application of the standards to assessment in practice. The competence and outcomes for a mentor are underpinned by eight domains (Figure 2, NMC, 2008b).

Figure 2. (NMC, 2008b)
Number Domain
1 Establishing effective working relationships
2 Facilitation of learning
3 Assessment and accountability
4 Evaluation of learning
5 Creating an environment for learning
6 Context of practice
7 Evidence-based practice
8 Leadership

When considering the eight domains within my own clinical practice area I consider establishing effective working relationships and leadership to be of particular importance. The establishment of an effective working relationship is vital due to working together with families and providing care for the family as the patient, rather than just the child (Casey, 1988) in order to provide a good standard of care. Establishing effective working relationships also serves to reduce poor student experiences and improve ability to assure competence to practice (Beskine 2009, Dowie 2008). When considering the importance of family centred care, as well as the promotion of an effective working relationship, leadership is a key theme. Leadership in my clinical setting involves role modeling, improving care and influencing others (Cook, 2001) as well as considering situational forms of leadership (Faugier and Woolnough,...
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