I have been teaching mentorship courses for over 30 years and it concerns me that the comments I have read here are the ones that prompted me to write a text book on the subject. Having done a number of straw polls with my mentorship cohorts I reckon that about 20% do the course because they are committed to mentoring. The rest said that they were sent on the course, need the certificate for promotion or are collecting credits to go towards a degree. Add to that the work load and work place pressures that mentors face, plus a wide variation in the quality of student nurses and it is no wonder that the practice of mentorship is in dire straits.
I am concerned that comments like ‘the University overturned our decision’ and ‘…there is pressure from universities for mentors not to fail students’ are still being made. While not disputing what the respondents have said it must be remembered that universities are accountable to the NMC. If a mentor ever has a decision overturned they have a right to ask for an explanation and if they believe the explanation to be inadequate they can refer the matter to the NMC as a possible lapse in professional standards. It should be remembered that students do not have the right to appeal against an assessor’s decision but they can appeal if the assessment process was not correctly followed, eg by not having intermediate assessments on schedule.
I agree with the respondent who stated `a 20 credit module conducted at university may not sufficently prepare mentors to adequately support students …’ This is as true as saying a pre-registration course does not adequately prepare nurses for the complexities of their role. In both cases nurses are beginning practitioners who will need support until they have gained expertise.
Regarding the suggestion for `Clinical nurse educators… whose role would be to teach only’, we used to have these, they were called clinical teachers. Unfortunately they were too thin on the ground and because they had no clinical responsibilities they were regarded as outsiders. The decision was taken to replace them with, wait for it – mentors!
Maybe you need to check the rigour of the Sun's methodology to see how it came to the conclusions which led to its recommendations. Then do the same exercise for this scientific paper.
Nurses need to be more than nice & caring. My wife with end stage renal failure had surgery for another condition. Post op routine was to give IV N/saline. When I visited she had gross oedema & pulmonary oedema. I asked the RN to stop the drip & organise urgent dialysis but she said it was routine. She had no understanding of pathophysiology & but for my insistence my wife would have died. This is why nurses need a high level of education.
As for students not having Practice Placement results taken in to account as part of their degrees it is because the universities give an academic award & when the student has demonstrated practical competence, assessed by clinical nurses, the NMC accept both sets of information as being evidence for suitability for registration.
The SEN role was abused in the past as they were often used as staff nurses but on a lower salary. They had no career pathway beyond their SEN level. Health care assistants can now prepare for pre-registration course by taking NVQ level 3. Nurse education does not take place in a university lecture theatre alone, there is a 50% practice requirement. It is worrying that a prospective MP/heath spokesperson is ignorant of the developments which have made career opportunities a reality for previously disadvantaged staff & is ignorant of the process of nurse education. This statement panders to & attempts to reinforce the prejudices which the general public may have of nursing. But that's the UKIP way.
Surely the purpose of the role play using masks is to challenge any negative perceptions students may have, not to reinforce them. RGU are to be congratulated on this initiative & I hope those who complained will see this as the positive educational method it was clearly intended to be.