Facilitating a 2nd Year student who is assisting in leg ulcer redressing including compression bandaging.
Part of the role of the mentor is to “facilitate the selection of appropriate learning strategies to integrate learning from practice and academic experiences” (NMC SLAiP Standards 2008). Assessing and carrying out leg ulcer dressings is a vital part of working as a community nurse and this report describes how I as a mentor facilitated a student to assist with this activity and identifies some of the range of facilitative strategies to support learning in practice. It describes carrying out an activity, from preparation, implementation and evaluation of the activity, ...view middle of the document...
This would be completed by myself.
Rationale and theories/concepts related to mentorship
We had arranged for student S to attend the leg ulcer clinic and spend time with the tissue viability nurse as part of her outreach activities during her placement. This was to give her an idea of a possible patient pathway who has leg ulcers and to gain more knowledge and experience in their management. It's suggested by Pollard (2004) that ideally students would follow one patient through the sequence of events, but it is recognised that the reality, as in the case of Mrs B. makes this almost impossible.
As a mentor my role as defined by RCN guidelines (2007) is to support Student S through “application of theory, assessing,evaluating and giving constructive feedback and facilitating reflection on practice, performance and experiences”.
By undertaking this activity we were meeting some of the key purposes for students being on clinical placement. Casey (2011) describes how Lloyd Jones et al (2001) suggests this to be the acquisition of skills and knowledge as well as applying theory to practice and professional identity formation and “enculturation”.
Whilst undertaking Mrs B's dressings I was aware that as a mentor I was accountable for any decision to delegate work to my student and for that work being undertaken and I knew that Student S should at her level of training be able to undertake this activity with supervision,in keeping with RCN guidelines. The aspects of care that Student S was unable to complete i.e. applying the compression layers of bandaging would also support her learning in practice by using my clinical skills and professional behaviour to demonstrate this and as a role model whilst interacting with Mrs B.
I was however aware that as a mentor I should not make assumptions about student S and her abilities at her level. According to Canham (2002,p.35) 'Although some taught skills and knowledge are universal, teaching and learning skills acquired previously cannot be assumed to be automatically transferable to specialist practice, especially in community settings'. She also states the importance of meeting the needs of the public and the organisation so it was important to be aware of meeting Mrs B's needs as well as Student S.
Analysis of what occurred during the activity
We agreed that student S would “lead” the visit. Our patient was well known to me. S. introduced herself and gained verbal consent to carry out the redressing. Mrs B is quite deaf and appeared to be missing some of what student nurse S was saying so I suggested she moved slightly closer and spoke a little louder and as clearly as possible. After preparing all the equipment we would need, she removed the old dressings asking Mrs B how she had been with them over the past week. She washed Mrs B's legs and we talked about the merits of using tap water or saline and the different emollients that can be used. I noted Student nurse S was positioned slightly...