Reflective Account Of A Student Placement Within The Community Setting Nursing Essay


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This assignment will provide a reflective account of a student placement within the community setting. The  reflective  model  Kolb's learning  cycle  (1984) is  often  referred  to  in  describing  experimental  learning  and  can  be  used  in  any  learning  situation.  Reflective practice is important to the development of Mentors as  professionals as  it  enables  us  to  learn  from  our  experiences  of teaching  and  facilitating  student  learning. Dix and Hughes (2004) recognise that students and learners can benefit from reflective practise. Jasper (2003) also identifies that reflective practise is an essential tool for student nurses to make that very important link between theory and practise. It will also highlight the role of the mentor and look at how the learning outcomes of both the mentor and the student were achieved. According  to  the  Nursing  and  Midwifery  Council  (NMC  2008) the  term   mentor  is  used  to  highlight  the  role  of  a  registered nurse  who  facilitates learning  and  supervises and  assesses  students  in  the  practice  place.   They  also  identify  the  eight  mandatory  standards  that  must  be   achieved  to  become  a  mentor,  and  within  the  assignment  I  shall  be   referring  to  the Standards  to  Support  Learning  and  Assessment  in   Practice; NMC  standards  for  mentors,  practice  teachers and  teachers,  and   identifying  the  standards  that  mentors require. I  am  a  staff  nurse  working as part of a busy district nursing team  within  the  community setting. I have 5  years  experience as a nurse,  as  I  mentee  I  will  be  under  the  supervision  of  my  mentor  who  is also  a  staff  nurse  with  over 20 years experience. Who has over  7  years  experience  as a  mentor.   The  student  that  has  been  allocated  to  my  area  of  work  is a  26  year  old  women  who  is at  the  beginning  of  her  2nd  year,  she  has  previously  worked  with  the health  visitor  and  In  a  nursing  home  setting.  Before  starting  her  training  she  worked  as a  carer  in  a  nursing  home  setting  which  has  given  her  confidence  and  personal  experience  outside  her  nurse  training. I  will  be outlining  the  students  journey  whilst  on  their  placement  and  How  I,  with  the  support  of  my  mentor  provided a  constructive  and  nurturing  learning  environment  for  the  student  to  develop  and  meet  her  learning  outcomes.  To ensure the student has a positive learning experience it is important that the learning environment is supportive for the student and those who work in it . Clarke et al. (2003) makes reference that learning in the clinical environment is very highly valued and this places several demands on clinical areas and staff. The clinic in which I am based has a wealth of mentors and nurses with vast experience.

It provides a positive and supportive learning experience to students who are placed with the district nurses. Although the clinic can be unpredictable clinically and tend to have heavy workloads. We have a resource room for students and the staff are always interested in and aware of the students experience whilst on placement.   Our  initial meeting  took  place  on  the  students  first  day  of  the  placement  I  issued her  the  clinics  student  nurse  orientation / resource  pack.  This  provided  her  with  all  the  basic  information   about  the  clinic  and  the  different  members  staff  within  the  team. Also  within  the  pack  was a  copy  of  the  NMC  guide  for  students  of  nursing  (2005) for  her  to  keep  referring  back  to, this  was  to   provide  a  good  introduction  into  the  learning  environment  that  she would  be  in  during  her  placement.  Cahill  (1996)  acknowledges  that  the  single  most  crucial  factor  in  creating  a  positive  learning  environment  is  the  relationship  between   staff  and  the  student  nurses.   She  also  discusses a  common  problem  which  arises  for  students  is  that  they  are  regularly  unable  to  work  with  their  mentor,  so  during  our  initial  meeting  we  discussed  and  planned  her  time table taking  into  account  any  study days she may have.   Kenworthy  and  Nicklin  (2000) comment  that  the  more  comfortable  and   welcome  a  student  feels  within  the  working  environment, the  more  likely  it  is  that   effective  learning  will  take  place  and  the  student  will  become   motivated  to  learn  which  is a  key  factor  in  successful  learning.  During  this  meeting  we  also  outlined  her  learning  needs and  establish  a  learning contract . A  learning  contract  is a  short  agreement  in  writing  between  the  mentor  and  their  student  used  to  ensure  learning  objectives and  module  outcomes are  identified  and  met  throughout  the  placement  (Lowry 1997). Downie and Basford (2003) believe that to identify the learning outcomes at the beginning for the placement is of great benefit to the students. In the learning contract the student outlined she would like to develop skills in the technique of administrating injections. She also expressed an interest in learning the role of a district nurse. It  was  important  for  me  to  know   where  in  her  training  the   student  nurse  was  so  I  could  plan  with  her  effectively  when  supporting  her  in  the  clinical  setting. A  frequently  used  taxonomy   in  nursing  is  the  framework  by  Benner  (2001)  in  which  are   five  levels;  novice, beginner,  competent,  proficient,  and  expert. According  to  Benner's  stages  of  clinical  competence  which  shows  the  journey  of  a  novice  to  an  expert  my  student  appeared  to  be  an  advance  beginner  as she shows  understanding  of  the  NMC  code  of  professional  conduct  and has  some previous  work  experience  which  some  students  in  the  same  year  on  the  course  may  not  have. Honey and Mumford (1992) explore four different styles of learning which is a variation on kolbs model. It is thought whenever possible, it is essential to allow the student's individual style of learning determine your choice of teaching. In seeking to explain kolbs model there are four different styles of learning they describe activists, pragmatists, theorists and reflectors. They also mention that although many people can be a mixture of the 4 styles they primarily had a preference for only one. When establishing the learning style of my student I became aware that she was an 'activist' and also 'reflector'. Preferring to observe and gain understanding of the theory and evidence based practise. Then showing a very hands on and experienced approach it became very apparent she preferred to be practical and experimental once she became comfortable with her surroundings. As outlined in her learning contract she was keen to meet her clinical outcome for administrating injections. The NMC standards for mentors (2008) states that students must spend forty percent of their placement with their mentor. This presented a problem as I had a numbers of annual study days which were mandatory and I had to attend. I discussed this with the student and explained other members of staff would oversee her learning outcomes whilst I was attending courses. This would be arranged well in advance so she knew who she would be placed with. She felt this arrangement was suitable as she would be given a chance to work with members of staff with differing experience and skill mix. This would also highlight the diversity in district nursing. I also felt this would enhance her experience within the team making her feel more comfortable with all the members of the team. Beskine (2009) suggests that starting off with a positive approach promotes the students experience as well as the quality of the placement. It was found by Pearcey and Elliot (2004) that students who have had negative experiences with their mentor and placements tend to leave the course before qualifying. Spoke placements with members of the multidisciplinary team were also discuss at this point and I gave her a list of recommend contact numbers and details.

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