Posted on Friday 16 August 2013
Senior staff nurse Stephanie Lawrence and student nurse Alice Sutcliffe
Mentors at Guy’s and St Thomas’ are guiding their nursing and midwifery students towards final qualification in a practical and creative way thanks to an innovative guide.
A practical guide for sign off mentors is used to ensure that students reach the standard of proficiency for safe and effective practice.
Senior staff nurse Stephanie Lawrence says: “As a sign off mentor my aim is to ensure that my student is prepared for and confident in every aspect of the role, in a personal and professional capacity, both on and off the ward.
“The practical guide has really helped me to be more structured and creative with my mentoring. It helps me plan our meetings week-by-week and suggests goals and targets involving new ways to assess progress other than questions and answers. We use role plays and presentations to keep learning varied and creative.”
Sign off mentors are responsible for assessing the ethical practice, care delivery, care management, and personal and professional development of their students.
Alice Sutcliffe is a nursing student at King’s College London, and recently had her final mentor session with Stephanie at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. She said: “My mentoring sessions have been really helpful and well organised in a way that’s allowed me to reflect on each aspect of my nursing role.
“I’ve really looked forward to all of the meetings with my mentor. Stephanie’s been so supportive and has given me confidence in my ability to take the big step from being a student to a qualified nurse.”
Sign off mentors at Guy’s and St Thomas’ support and assess student nurses and midwives throughout their training. The Trust provides additional support for mentors to prepare them for the role.
The guide was designed by the Trust’s education team. It is used by nursing mentors during the student’s final 12-week placement before they can be listed on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register. Midwifery students are assessed at the end of every year of their training, and the guide is equally useful for this.
Mags Jubb, education, training and development manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We’re really proud of our practical guide. It’s handy for our sign off mentors as it’s a streamlined way of assessing students and supporting them to reach their full potential. Effective mentoring helps students to focus and learn in the most efficient and rewarding way.
“We hope it will continue to improve the quality of our newly qualified staff, which will ultimately benefit patients.”
The guide has been so successful that other NHS trusts across England have asked to use it.