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017023552 user assessment. These forms of assessment are

 

 

 

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Mentors
plays a key role in supporting, assessing and teaching students in practice.

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According to
NMC 2008 the term mentor is used to describe the role of a registered nurse

who assesses
students. As a mentor you have the privilege and
responsibility of helping

students translate theory into practice, and
making what is learned in the classroom to reality. It

 is a
role that you are entrusted with by students, colleagues and most importantly,
patients.

 Passing on your knowledge and skills is one of
the most essential roles you can undertake, and

 it can
be very rewarding. For
the purpose of this essay and in depth context, the role of the

 mentor in assessing the pre-registration
students are supporting, assessing and teaching

 will be critically discussed. 

 

According to
Kinnell and Hughes (2010) mentor’s role is to assess the ability of the student

to relate
theory to practice in order to ascertain their progress and development
throughout

their
training. Assessment is important for pre-registration nurse to find out
whether they

 are safe and effective in practice. Gope (2015)
suggested that assessment also constitute an

 opportunity to identify learning needs, this
suggest that learning is an intergral 

competent of
the assessment process and not simply a means of measuring attainments.

 Assessment can be done in different forms like
self assessment, peer assessment and

patients or
service user assessment. These forms of assessment are important to the pre-

registration
students in their progress of learning.

 

A mentor
should provide formative and summative assessment for the students to help

them achieve
their objectives and improve their clinical experience. Formative assessment

 takes place throughout the placement and it
focuses on student learning and progress 

(Reilly and
Oermann 1990). However Phillips et al (2000) suggest that the mentor should

 

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formally review
the student’s progress and identify any difficulties in the early stages rather

 than later period of the placement.  I was able to provide the assessments to my
student

and able to
describe which areas he needed to improve and also discuss his strengths.

 

The main
purpose of assessing student nurses in the practice area is to monitor their

 progress, provide feedback, uncover learning needs,
motivate the students, monitor their

 progress and to assess their level of
competencies. As stated by D Walsh (2014), because

 we assess for the host of good reasons the
assessment process must be very robust. It

needs to be
accurate to enable the mentors to make realistic judgement about the student’s

level of
competence and whether to pass them or not. A good assessment process would

enable us to
produce good nurses by passing student nurse you are assured that they will

perform successfully
in a safe and professional behaviour. There are barriers which can

encount the
good assessment which will enable not to fail or pass the student. Lack of time

and support
can lead to nurse mentors failing to meet their responsibilities and even

passing
students they deem incompetent (Gainsbury 2010). Another barrier is being

overwhelmed
by the responsibilities and feeling inadequately prepared for their role (

Andrews et
al 2010). As well as not having protected time away from other clinical duties
to

 mentors. I learnt that assessing a student in
the community environment was challenging

 as I encountered barriers like, limited time
no dedicated space or room for discussion or

reflection
and had to utilise my car on the way to next patient.  

 

Mentors
should have the skills and knowledge to challenge and give constructive

 feedback to student whose work does not meet
the required standard to qualify. A recent

study by
Clynes and Raftery (2008) shows constructive feedback helps the student to

develop
their objectives to fulfil their needs.  Danny
Walsh (2014) stated that, feedback

 should be precise and to the point so that
student is no under illusions as to what they  must do to improve. By conducting a fair,
honest and accurate assessment can be a key

 

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 to the promotion of high quality patient care and safety. Asking
several team members

 who have worked with the student rather than just
one provides a more balanced approach 

and can
identify if there are multiple concerns or multiple areas of progression that
can help

to inform
your decision about a student’s stage of learning (Price 2012).  My student

improved his
skills on compression bandaging and knowledge after the midpoint

assessment.
I explained his positive qualities and then encouraged him in the areas that

 he needed to concentrate on and then I
finished the session with a positive comment. 
 

Kilgallon
and Thomson (2012) states that assessments are needed to safeguard public 

protection
by ensuring that only those students who have met the required standard of

 achievement can register as a nurse.

  

Another
mentor’s role is teaching. Teaching is to help students acquire knowledge,

 competence or values. According to (NMC 2008)
an NMC teacher is responsible for

organising
and co-ordinating learning activities in both academic and practice
environment.

When setting
the objectives of placement with my student we found out that I needed to

teach the
student about wound care management. According to Kinnell and Hughes

(2010), the
use of the set objectives in the practice placement is not always appropriate
for

 mentors, although the student’s competences
outcomes are a good indictors of what needs

 to be achieved and focus of a teaching
session. There are some barriers which can interfere

with the
session to go ahead for instance in the community you can be asked to attend a

patient with
blocked catheter and palliative patient. O’Driscoll et al (2010) highlighted
that

several barriers
including increased work load prevent mentors from giving students the 

required support.
Such barriers results in mentor focusing and choosing patient care rather

than teaching
student. According to Kilgallon and Thompson (2012) a good mentor puts 

time and effort
into the role and receives great encouragement and personal reward when

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he or she sees
a student improving in knowledge, skills and attitude.

 

The role of
the mentor during the period of orientation and confidence -building is crucial
in

 many aspects, but equally as important as
highlighted by Okan (2004) is the personal

relationship
that develop between the mentor and the student. In his article Adey (1997)

 cited that students valued mentors whom are
organised, approachable, hospitable and

reassuring.
It was further argued that friendship and trust must be established from the

 onset of the placement. Although this has been
challenged and criticised by some writers.

 Adey (1997) maintains that evaluative feedback
is likely to be ‘non-threatening’ if the

personal
relation is based on friendship and trust. In Adey (1997) study highlighted that

students
with friendly relations with their mentors were actively inviting constructive

 criticism and seeking to be challenged.

 

The
accountability of a nurse as a mentor is also grounded on the same NMC code.
The

 NMC (2008) states that a nurse must facilitate
students and others to develop their

competence.
This specific provision directly requires a nurse playing the role of a mentor
to

be
accountable for the learning and the safety of student during practice
placement. A

mentor’s
accountability naturally incudes assessing the student’s performance. Aston and

Hallam
(2011) relate that assessing student’s learning while they are under one’s

mentorship
is one of the important role of the nurse mentor. The mentor’s accountability

 includes making sure that all the possible
opportunities for learning has been exhausted

 and the students have been given ample time to
master the skills that will be assessed from

 them.   This
is because it would be unfair for the student to be assessed for skills which

were never
taught to them or they were never given the opportunity to improve the skills.

 Accountability signifies that ultimately the
mentor’s role in guiding students is to

ensure that
future generations of nurses are truly competent to serve the general

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 healthcare consumers.  According Gope (2015), the mentor is
accountable to know the pre-

registration’s
course structure and built in assessment procedures and regulations set out

 by the University, and the procedures to
follow if they feel that the students are not

meeting the
standards.

 

It is a challenge
task for a mentor to fail a student in the learning environment. Failing a pre-

registered
student nurse who is not meeting the competence in learning environment it is a  

way of
safeguarding the nursing profession and the future workforce. Duffy (2004)
stated

 that some mentors passed students in the
learning environment even with the doubt about

the
student’s performance. The mentor may experience the tension at the serious

 disagreement between the teaching, supportive
role and the assessing competent and

 assessing the failure of the student as a
personal reflection of their standards of supervision

and
teaching. These reactions and effects can interfere with failing a student and
lead to

avoidance or
“failing to fail” students (Duffy 2003).

 

A student
who is not progressing or failing to meet the standards needs early
identification

 so that opportunities can be provided for the
student to improve.  NMC (2008) standards

 outline the requirements of supporting the
learning and assessment of students in the

practice
learning environment. Gope (2015) stated that for fairness assessment mentor

 should be aware of external circumstances that
are hindering the student’s performance on

clinical
skills. The NMC Standard (2006) states that mentors must keep sufficient and
evidence

 based records to support their
decision. Sharples and
Kelly (2007 p44) said, “It is naive to

 assume that all students entering clinical
placement will have the knowledge, skills and

attitude to
be successful. There will always be students on practice placement who struggle

 to achieve competence. Mentors who fail to
evaluate learners unsatisfactory accurately are

 guilty of misleading the student, potentially
jeopardising patient’s safety and failing in their

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 accountability to the NMC.”

 

According to
Duffy (2003) mentors may not fail the students due to tension between failing

 a student and being a caring person. Also,
staff shortages, increase workload and lack of

time
contributed to failures to fail. To fail a student requires courage and
confidence but the

mentors
should remember that they are not alone and should seek help from university
and

 practice education team as soon as possible.
As a mentor you should be aware that you will

 be supported to make a decision to fail a
student if you have followed the plan of action

 outlined to support the student. The NMC Standard
(2006) states that mentors must keep

sufficient and evidence based records to support their decision.

 

The support provided to the student by their mentor has a positive impact
on student’s

performance during clinical placement for instance effective communication,
developing

effective working relationships, facilitating learning objectives,
assessing students using approved  

procedures, acting as a role model and creating effective and positive
learning environment.

(Halcombe et al 2012). Mentors are expected to provide a supportive
learning environment to

help student’s progress, assist them in achieving outcomes relevant to the
practice placement.

Student learn most effectively in environment that facilitate learning by
encouraging, supporting

and making them feel they are part of the team. (Papp et al 2003).  

 

In
conclusion the essay critically discuss
the role of the mentor in accurately assessing a pre-

registration
student’s practice. It is important to bear in mind that those mentors who

demonstrate
appropriate skills, values, behaviours this supports student learning process

 and positive role model can be inspirational.  A supportive mentor will get to know what

 the student’s goals are and then identify
resources that can move the student in a good

direction. A
good mentor is someone who knows when to empathise with student and

 when to detach themselves in order to
objectively assess a student’s performance;

therefore,
it is important for a mentor to learn when to empathise and when to be

objective
(RCN 2009). As in Hunt’s (2014) study, mentors need confidence, competent
and     

knowledge to
understand something instinctively without the need for conscious reasoning

 from fractual student concerns in order to
provide coherent assessment evidence. I have

learnt that
for a mentor to assess the pre-registration student accurate, the mentor’s

 personal and interpersonal skills. 

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