This is my reflective account of my performance as a mentor in a clinical setting, assessing the learning environment and the strategies used for teaching and assessing a newly qualified theatre nurse. The purpose of this essay is to reflect upon aspects of my professional practice and development that I have encountered during my time as a student mentor. This reflective essay shall be written in the first person, In accordance with the NMC (2002) Code Of Professional Conduct, Confidentiality shall be maintained and all names have been changed to protect identity. I have been teaching students and newly qualified theatre practitioners as a registered ODP for more than 10 years and as a SODP for one year. Working with different mentors in the past, has helped me to understand the different characteristics of being a mentor and develop my own style of facilitating learning within a clinical setting. I have experience of conveying knowledge to others in a way that is comprehensible and significant through my work as a multi-skilled theatre practitioner. Whilst ODPs have a separate code of professional standards, this essentially provides a similar outline to supervision and mentorship (HPC 2008). The concept of mentoring is also part of the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework whereby practitioners have to assist in the development of others through a variety of learning approaches and must demonstrate these through portfolio development (DH 2004). In order to be an effective role model the mentor must have high standards, must be able to demonstrate these high standards consistently, and must have good attitudes and beliefs regarding the role of their relevant profession in the wider context of healthcare (Murray & Main 2005) As this assignment is a reflection of my performance in mentoring and assessing a mentee in nursing/theatre settings ,I have chose to use Gibbs Reflective Cycle as it is clear and precise, allowing for description, analysis and evaluation of the experience helping the reflective practitioner to make sense of experiences and examine their practice. To reflect is not enough, you then have to put into practice the learning and new understanding you have gained therefore allowing the reflective process to inform your practice. Taking action is the key; Gibbs prompts the practitioner to formulate an action plan. This enables the reflective practitioner to look at their practice and see what they would change in the future, how they would develop /improve their practice. Gibbs reflective cycle (1998).
On the first day of meeting my mentee (Helen) immediately after her orientation of the department, we had a meeting to draw up her learning opportunities so that there was an awareness of what Helen hoped to gain from her new profession as a theatre nurse. As part of her learning opportunities a teaching session and assessment was arranged. The teaching session included both formal and informal assessments . Both sessions were carried out in the theatre operating room , the formal assessment involved performing a surgical hand scrub which is always done prior to any surgical procedure. Even though I am a competent practitioner, I still had a moderate level of stress and anxiety regarding fulfilling my role as a mentor. However, upon reflection I could draw on my previous experiences as a basic life support key trainer , previous teaching sessions I have delivered, and the support I have had from my sign off mentor (Teresa). My Mentor has helped me a great deal throughout my career, we have a great understanding of each other , and have built up a trusting and honest relationship over the years. For Helen this was her first experience of theatre post qualification, Helen had no theatre placements during her nurse training, so theatre is a totally new setting for her. Before any learning lesson took place, it was crucial to build an effective working relationship...
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