Mentorship: Nursing and Samantha

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This assignment aims to critically evaluate the four key professional requirements for mentorship practice. The assignment endeavours to reflect on clinical practice with Samantha a third year student nurse on her final placement in the Emergency Department. The assignment aspires to critically discuss different theories of adult learning relating to Samantha’s practical and academic experiences. The positive and negative aspects of effective learning environments are identified and discussed making recommendations to improve the current learning environment. The assignment critically analyses the accountability of the mentor in relation to the assessment of the student and the student’s professional growth and development. Recommendations to improve self performance and knowledge, as a mentor identified through reflection and reference to literature will be referred to throughout the assignment. To maintain confidentiality names and places have been changed in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code of Professional Conduct (NMC 2008).

The purpose of Samantha’s A&E placement was for her to learn the function of an A&E department and to gain skills in relation to patient assessment. On Samantha’s first shift in the department the author conducted an initial interview. The purpose of this was to discover Samantha’s background, stage in her training, aims and objectives for her A&E placement. Philips et al (2000) highlights the importance of discovering what the student already knows. This is important because if the mentor fails to check the students stage of learning then the teaching could be give on the wrong level resulting in no new learning taking place. It also provides an opportunity for the mentor and student to build a rapport by discussing their past experiences together. Wallace (2003) highlights this helps the mentor devise appropriate strategies for the student to aid the student’s learning. This then creates the basis of a working relationship thus encouraging the student disclose any fears they may have about their placement. Bennett (2003) states to establish a good student mentor relationship the mentor could adopt strategies such as orientating the student to the environment and introducing the student to other members of the team. The author discovered Samantha was in her third year of nurse training and A&E was her first placement of that year.

Samantha stated in her initial interview that she wished to gain confidence in performing ECGs, assessment of all patients including children and gain knowledge of the A&E process including simple triage methods. Stuart (2003) recommends devising a learning contract between the student and mentor. Walkin (2000) states the use of a learning contract gives the student a guide to achieving their intrinsic goals. This provides clear guidance what the student will learn and how the learning will be assessed. Day (2001) recommends the use of a learning agreement because the student may feel they already have the skills necessary to achieve their clinical competencies. The author and Samantha devised a learning agreement (see appendix a). To improve the initial assessment stage the author and Samantha could have met at the end of the first shift to recap on the initial goals devised.

Evidence from Hand (2006) suggests there are four main learning theories. Hand (2006) states student learners will either be an activist, pragmatist, reflector or a theorist. Hand (2006) recommends adapting the teaching session to suit the learning style of the student. Quinn (2000) suggests adult learners differ widely in their styles of learning. Therefore it is imperative to remember not all students will learn skills in the same way. Bastable (2003) suggests creating the opportunity for the student to learn using their preferred style. Therefore if the student utilises their preferred style of learning, it is likely...
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