Christian Betteridge, Practice Education Facilitator at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust which serves Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, is January’s 6Cs in Action: Celebrating Excellence winner.
Working in partnership with a range of stakeholders, Christian created a Student’s Charter (add link) aimed at bringing the 6Cs to the attention of pre-registration mental health nursing students with a view to increasing the quality of placements and setting out expected standards of care and service user experience.
As Christian explained:
“I was keen to embed the essential 6Cs principles into the clinical placement experience of student nurses on placement with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. The 6Cs values are key to developing both the correct attitude and clinical skills in tomorrow’s registered nurse workforce.
“In partnership with the University of the West of England, University of Worcester, NMC Mentors and pre-registration students the charter we created is bringing the 6Cs to life for students.”
Embedding 6Cs into placements
2gether Trust believes it is important to formally embed the principles of the 6Cs right at the start of placement one in the pre-registration nurse programmes.
Evaluation from previous placements suggested that a formal framework of expectations would be beneficial for students to maximise learning while in placement and help allay their concerns and anxieties - particularly on their first placement.
In addition, using the 6cs values as guiding principles, there was the potential to reduce the number of ‘difficult’ boundary setting conversations and critical feedback between mentors and students.
The 6Cs also provide the best way to describe in behavioural terms the type of compassionate, positive actions required of students to reduce the frequency of mistakes and increase service user satisfaction, while building on the validity and reliability of placement assessment by being explicit with students about what behaviours mentors were looking for.
Christian added: “The 6Cs gave a compassionate and detailed framework within which I could engage university academics, clinicians, mentors and students to work collaboratively and produce the charter.
“The charter provides mentors and students with clear expectations of attitude, conduct and performance in clinical placements. As half of pre-registration nursing programmes are assessed on clinical placement performance, it is essential that students and mentors know exactly what is expected of them to provide compassionate, high quality care.
“During mentor development updates, I engaged mentors in discussions around their real lived experiences of mentoring students and the challenges and successes they had encountered. The charter was further enhanced by input from University academics and pre-registration students who gave their valuable perspectives.”
The charter is a resource for all those engaged in supporting students in clinical placements and is available online to all students prior to starting placement. Christian also uses it as a foundation for trust induction days that he delivers to all students before taking up their first placement.
Marie Batey, Head of Acute Care and Older People and programme lead for Compassion in Practice said: “The Student Charter Chris has introduced is an innovation that really brings the 6Cs principles to life in a specific area of activity, therefore, making them real and relevant to students (and giving them a set of values they can believe in and adopt).
“The charter has the potential to make a profound impact on clinical placements, learning, mentors, students and service user care. The collaboration between two universities, mentors and student nurses adds credibility and relevance, which then helps to ensure that the 6Cs are embedded in the how student placements are managed and we were delighted to see all parties work together in this way.”