Mentorship in Clinical Practice

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The nursing profession is constantly evolving, with facilitation recognised as a key role within the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) Code (2008) and Standards to support learning and assessment in practice (2008)(Appendix1). As a registered nurse, working in a Day Surgery Unit (DSU) in a non NHS island setting, this module was undertaken in order to fulfill these duties and obligations, whilst developing existing knowledge and skills as a mentor in practice.

The aim of this assignment is to explore and critically analyse experiences of mentoring learners in the clinical setting. It will cover the learning outcomes as described in Table 1.

|Table 1. Learning Outcomes | | | |1. Key issues for preparation of the effective learning environment. | | | |2. Relationships and their impact on successful learning. | | | |3. Challenges experienced when facilitating learning in practice. | | | |4. The mentor’s role and accountability within the assessment process. | | | |5. Evaluation and feedback processes and strategies that develop | |Student learning in practice |

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)( 2007), and Bayley et al(2004) have published toolkits to guide and assist mentors in order to comply with the NMC requirements. Bradshaw(1989) gives advice on how to individually tailor teaching programmes to meet the needs of students, staff and the environment. It is evident that the environment is of paramount importance in the learning process. Therefore, prior to the teaching session, a ‘SWOT’ analysis of the environment was undertaken in order to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (Appendix2). The works of Orton(1993) and Nicklin & Kenworthy(1997) in the creation of an environment conducive to learning were also taken into account (Appendix3).

With these criteria addressed prior to the planning of the facilitation and assessment activities, examples of other factors considered are cited in Table 2.

|Table 2. Factors affecting learning | |Personality of the teacher and learners and how they interact | |Individual learner differences and intellectual ability / capacity | |Prior knowledge of the learners and past life experiences | |Preferred style of teaching / learning | |Levels of anxiety | |Individuals expectations of what is to be learnt |

As mentors we become role models around which learners develop their own behaviours and beliefs. Like students/learners, individual mentors differ widely in personality and approach, transmitting...
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