The objective of this essay is to analyze the mentor role of a pre-registration student's placement in the field of district nursing. During the essay the student's true identity will not be revealed for reasons of confidentiality and so will be called Jane. Jane was due to start a six week preparation for practice placement within the community setting and the health center where I work had been chosen for her to undertake her learning experiences. As a specialist practitioner student I was asked to help in the mentoring of Jane, which was discussed with her on commencement in order to gain consent. According to the English National Board (ENB) (2001) the term mentor is used to denote the role of the nurse who facilitates learning and supervises and assesses students in the practice setting. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2004) identifies eight mandatory standards that must be achieved to become a mentor. These are communication and working relationships, facilitation of learning, assessment, role modeling, creating an environment for learning, improving practice, knowledge base and course development.
[...] Jane stated that having contact with me via telephone prior to placement had helped to reduce the anxiety she was experiencing in commencing the placement. This is beneficial in utilizing the opportunity to initiate our relationship prior to meeting in person. Another way to initiate the mentoring relationship is in orientating the student into the clinical area. Morton-Cooper & Palmer (2000) describe that in orientation the two parties are drawn together naturally by their personal characteristics, attributes and common values. [...]
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[...] Davison N (2005) How to support student effectively. Nursing Times 42-43. English National Board (ENB) (2001) Preparation of Mentors and Teachers; A New Ewan White R (1996) Teaching Nursing. Chapman and Hall, London. Fish Twinn S (2000) Quality Clinical Supervision in the Health Care Professions. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. Framework for Guidance, London, ENB for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting and the Department of Health. Henry J (1985) Using feedback and evaluation effectively in clinical supervision. Physical Therapy Knowles M (1994) Androgogy in action. [...]
[...] With this theory in mind I have acted as a facilitator within the learning process to encourage and assist the education process of Jane. This would hopefully assist the achievement of self- actualization and fulfill the maximum potential for growth which in turn, would lead to whatever had been learnt being remembered, utilized and valued. During an initial discussion with Jane, it became evident that she had considered her personal learning objectives for this placement. When she expressed her idea of what a mentor should be, it became apparent, as Knowles (1994) suggests, as an androgogical approach, which is concerned with helping adults to learn, teacher and student have an equal relationship with student accepting responsibility for their own learning. [...]
[...] (Quinn 2000) For example, if a student is being assessed on their ability to communicate effectively with patients and careers and they are tested through questions about communication skills then is that assessment valid? A much more valid assessment method would be observation of the student actually communicating with patients and cares as it could be argued that a student may posses knowledge regarding communication but not actually be able to carry out effectively. However observation may adversely affect the student's performance due to anxiety. [...]
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