I approach to caring for students as we meet

I work in Ophthalmic theatres
as a theatre practitioner, assisting surgeons daily to strive for the best
outcome for the patient’s operation. The theatre is a very specific area; which
patients are not always exposed to as well as students. It is a niche area in
which students can collaborate knowledge and practice together to see how the
anatomy relates to surgery.

Within the area I work we have
a guidance that we follow a routine of orientating the students around the
facilities. We must ensure fire exits and routines are taught to ensure safe
and effective approach to caring for students as we meet Maslow hierarchy of
needs of feel safe and secure (Maslow 1943). It is argued that we do not need
to follow the hierarchy as Maslow stated, as Diener explains from his research
that people can elevate themselves to an upper hierarchy, while not meeting the
basic needs stage. An example Diener stated is, that we can be happy with our
friends, even if we are hungry (Tay and Diener 2011).

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The opportunities are to work within a team and ensure a
safe surgery is carried out, as well as the introduction of important documents
such as a world known surgical document, the WHO checklist. This would give
students a clear idea of what everyone is looking at to ensure the patient is
safe to have the surgery. This checklist will be paramount for the student’s
journey, building their knowledge about peri operative and intraoperative
checks.

Levett-Jones et al (2009) in their study found
staff-student relationships were the most important influence on students’
sense of belonging and learning. Thus, I always meet my students and ensure
they are happy around the area and I would check on them regularly. This is
important to ensure they have adjusted to your area and are comfortable. Quinn
states that the learning environment should be pleasant and comfortable (Quinn
2000).

I find “befriending” your student encourages them to feel
welcome & confident in the clinical area. This would also encourage them to
ask questions or disclose anxieties, therefore increasing their confidence and
likelihood of interaction with other team members and effective participation
in general activities. This will allow a smooth learning plain for the student;
therefore, students learn about compassion and virtue in practice by working
with nurses enacting these characteristics in the clinical setting (Rudolfsson
and Berggren 2012).

By ensuring I meet the student myself is crucial as it
helps the mentor to get to know the student, their personality, previous
experience and their learning needs (Quinn 2000). I was then able to give her a
detailed orientation of the unit and provided her with an induction pack.
Recent research suggests that an effective orientation to a clinical placement
can help students feel relaxed and promotes motivation for learning through
early identification of learning objectives (Worrall 2007).

Students seek for role models in their mentors who
exemplify best practice (Price and Price, 2009). This is evident from Appendix
1 and Appendix 4, where the students have expressed that I utilised
Evidence-based practice. Whilst sharing the evidence-based knowledge I ensured
I used good effective communication skills to array my information. As Ali and
Panther states mentors should use effective communication and facilitation of
skills to develop a personal and professional relationship (Ali and Panther
2008).

It is important to state that Morton (2000)
explained that, mentors should display positive role modelling behaviours on
duty. This positive role modelling gives the students clarity on what a good
nurse should be, this is exemplified in Appendix 1 where the student states she
emulated me and that I was a good role model.

As the first week would come to a close I discussed an action
plan, based on her personal and professional development to date which
incorporated university policy. We discussed her objectives and arranged the
date of mid-placement interview and final assessment. I have always ensured
that depending on each level of student, they meet the correct Bondy level in
guidance to their current year level. I would ensure that my students were
supported well, and this is evidenced in Appendix 4, where the student
expressed how I would ensure on my days off, that someone else was supervising
her. This mentor behaviour is in correlation to Bradbury-Jones et all, who
proclaimed that supportive mentors play a pivotal role in the empowerment of
student nurses, including having positive feelings towards nursing as a career
(Bradbury-Jones et al (2007).

However, these can only be achieved with structured support
which is why the NMC mandates that 40% of student’s time in practice should be
spent being supervised either directly or indirectly by a mentor (NMC, 2008a.
p31). This guidance on mentoring time is important as the mentor must see what
the student is doing otherwise no Bondy level can be achieved. I always ensured
my student was on the same shift as me, otherwise, I would ensure another nurse
with good experience would guide my student effectively. With all this in mind,
it will greatly have a positive impact on the students’ achievement and
positivity of the clinical area.