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Preparation for Mentorship & Assessing. Introduction. Learning in practice is an important part of the curriculum and accounts for approximately 50% of the pre-qualifying nursing programme in the UK (Andrews and Roberts, 2003). Supporting students to learn is an important function for both educators and practitioners and thus teaching, assessing and mentoring are fundamental aspects of nurses' roles and responsibilities. The quality of the clinical learning environment is a national priority for both Trusts and Higher Education Institutes (Rapson, Holding and Shepherd, 2003). In recent years, the impetus for review can be attributable to a variety of sources including recommendations made by the government in 'Making a Difference' (Department of Health (DoH), 1999) and the emphasis on 'Fitness for Practice' by the United Kingdom Central Council (1999). More recently, the 'Placements in Focus' document stressed that the environment should provide an area in which students can experience good quality care and treatment of patients (DoH, 2001). It is recognized that clinical staff exercise a major influence on the quality of pre-registration programmes (Eraut et al, 1995, cited in Stuart 2003 p33). They do much of the teaching, supervision and assessment of students and, as it is likely that this will continue it is imperative that they are capable of fulfilling these roles (Clifford, 1995; White et al, 1994; cited in Stuart 2003 p33). Various definitions of the terms 'mentor', 'teacher' and 'assessor' have been offered through the years and choosing one in favour of another is a difficult task. The English National Board (1993) defined a mentor as being 'an appropriately qualified and experienced first level nurse who, by example and facilitation guides, assists and supports the student in learning new skills, adopting new behaviors and acquiring new attitudes'. Ashworth and Morrison (1991, cited in Stuart 2003 p34) consider that assessing involves the perception of evidence about performance by an assessor, and the arrival at a decision concerning the level of performance of the person being assessed. ...read more.


* Internalization; Experience continues to influence lifestyle. * Dissemination; Attempt to influence others. Rachel's level of knowledge and motivation to learn is typical of one being in the third stage - identification, whilst the author, having gone through all five stages, was attempting to influence Rachel through the teaching of a skill. Learning Outcome 6.3. Greenwood (1993, cited in Goode 1998 p89) considers that experiential learning and reflection-in-practice can reinforce effective learning. Goode (1998) adds that time for reflection must be made available in order for learning to take place. Reflection-in-practice was achieved both during the teaching session and afterwards and was critical to the achievement of meaningful learning. Rachel was also required to write a reflection of the placement as part of her Learning Profile (see Appendix II).Clark et al (1996, cited in Williams 2001 p30) conclude that reflection is necessary to make sense of professional experience including the everyday events of practice. Learning Outcome 6.5. Along with theories of learning, knowledge of individual learning styles, teaching strategies and an awareness of the learning environment can positively influence the achievement of learning objectives. By discussing Rachel's ideas with her, the author was able to ascertain Rachel's learning style, motivation to learning and personal aspirations and goals and aimed to formulate the teaching session based on her unique and individual needs. Honey (1982) suggests there are four different learning styles; activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatics. On reflection it would seem that the author is a theorist, described by Honey as 'one who likes to learn by looking at the underlying ideas and systems and at all the different options'. The author regards Rachel, on the other hand as an activist; 'one who likes learning by doing and learning in a team, they do not like ploughing through masses of reading, they want to get on with their learning'. In acknowledging the styles described by Honey (1982), providing Rachel with pre-reading material was not conducive to her individual learning style, though she did state that she had read and understood the material prior to the teaching session. ...read more.


of practice; * Critically examine and demonstrate the development of strategies to facilitate the students learning; * Critically analyze and engage in the assessment and evaluation of students in the practice setting; * Reflect on practice as a practitioner, mentor and assessor in the clinical area; * Critically analyze, implement and contribute to the development of curricula as appropriate to clinical practice; and, * Critically examine the concept of role modeling and act as a role model in the practice area. I have achieved these aims by providing evidence in written form of the products and processes of my learning. The portfolio attests to the achievement of learning outcomes and of personal and professional development by providing critical analysis of its contents (as recommended by McMullan et al 2003, cited in Webb 2003 p601). I utilized a reflective cycle in order to encompass an affective account of the experiences described and gave a rationale for its use. A table of evidence guides the reader to a critical analysis of a teaching experience, a reflective account of an assessment, practical learning outcomes achieved by the author, a log of learning events, a peer review of teaching and assessing and a variety of appendices. Through writing this portfolio, I have developed the skills required to support students to learn and teaching, assessing and mentoring are now fundamental aspects of my role and responsibilities as a practitioner. I will utilize these skills in assuring that my workplace provides an area in which students experience good quality care and treatment of patients and clients, as recommended by the DoH (2001) and recognize that I have a direct influence on the quality of student placements. I feel I am competent at fulfilling the roles of mentor, teacher and assessor and in planning learning opportunities, facilitating and supporting the learning process, assessing learning and providing feedback to students on their performance, as recommended by Neary, 2000; Eraut et al, 1995 (cited in Stuart 2003 p33). Preparation for Mentorship & Assessing. ...read more.

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