Assessing and Supporting Learners in Practice

Topics: Learning styles, Educational psychology, Learning Pages: 14 (5050 words) Published: January 29, 2011
A Critical Analysis of Supporting and Assessing Learners in Practice.

This portfolio will critically analyse my development to mentor students and colleagues in a mental health care setting. Portfolios improve competences by recording professional and personal development goals, growth and achievements (Sherrod 2005; Pietroni and Irvine 2001). As I have drawn upon different experiences of learning, self- awareness, reflection, analysis and critique, this will be written in the first person (Hamill 1999; Web 1992). Guided by the Nursing Midwifery Council NMC Code of Professional Standards and Ethics (2008a) confidentiality will be met by referring to my student using the pseudonym of Ann and references to patients, colleagues and the setting shall remain anonymous. I addition consent was granted to use information for this assignment.

Donovan (1990) states that mentorship originated from Greek mythology, where Odysseus entrusted Mentor, an older wiser friend to look after his son in his absence. Price (2005) defines mentors as experienced trusted people who guide inexperienced individuals to their full potential, however others theorists describe mentors with interchanging terms such as coach, preceptor, teacher, advisor and networker (Burnard 1990; Milton 2004; Morten-Cooper and Palmer 2000). Guided by the NMC Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice (2008), it is mandatory that students are allocated a mentor, however mentoring is complex, requiring the development of bounded and purposeful relationships underpinned by knowledge, experience and opportunities for reflection (West, Clark and Jasper 2007). Mentors are therefore required to complete an NMC approved mentorship programme and to achieve competence when establishing effective working relationships; facilitating learning; assessment and accountability; evaluation of learning; creating an environment for learning; contextualising practice, evidence based practice and leadership (NMC 2008; Pickering and Thompson 2003; Jones 2005) (appendix 1). Upon successful completion of this module, I need to be supervised on three occasions for signing off proficiency at the end of final placements by a sign-off mentor before being annotated as such on the local register and I will have to mentor at least two students every three years (NMC 2008). Furthermore, to maintain registration mentors must participate in annual updating, including the opportunity to meet mentors, explore assessment and supervision issues and collaboratively discuss the validity and reliability of judgments made when assessing practice in challenging circumstances (NMC 2009).

Considering the Knowledge and Skills Framework (Department of Health DoH 2004), I was nominated for this module during my annual review (NMC; Post-Registration Education and Practice 2004) which represents continual learning related to professional practice (NMC; Supporting Nurses and Midwifes through Lifelong Learning 2002). As required, it was acknowledged by senior nurses that I had developed my competence beyond registration and had acquired the requisite knowledge and skills to be a positive role model for students which is an important learning strategy in practice (NMC 2008; NMC 2008a; Davidson 2005). I have also acted as associate mentor to students and felt rewarded when feedback suggested the demonstration of mutual respect, empathy, commitment of time and energy which authors depict as crucial elements necessary for mentoring (Allen 2002; Morten-Cooper Palmer 2000) (appendix 2). This experience made me reflect upon Eric Erickson’s developmental model, in which the tasks ascribed in the years from 25-64 are to produce and nurture next generations (Erikson 1959). This model is applicable to nurses’ who seek to support students through socialization and offering encouragement (Kozier, Erb, Berman and Snyder 2004). Additionally, it was suggested that I would advocate evidence based practice which...
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