Career advice

Practice-related feedback: Revalidation helped me in my role as a mentor

Feedback from a student reminded University of Edinburgh professor Tonks Fawcett of the importance of mentoring in many aspects of her job

Feedback from a student reminded University of Edinburgh professor Tonks Fawcett of the importance of mentoring in many aspects of her job

Tonks_Fawcett
Tonks Fawcett.

When completing my first revalidation with the Nursing and Midwifery Council I was keen to include practice-related feedback on my role as a mentor. A career in education means I have taken the role of mentor in many guises. I greatly value it and have also come to realise how much it is valued by the person being mentored.

One of my five sources of feedback was a nurse I mentored at my university for the Edinburgh Teaching Awards. This is a route to become a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, which provides national recognition of commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education.

Altered perspective

I used emails from this experienced nurse in which he expressed gratitude for my support and guidance in helping him become a senior fellow.

Acting as his mentor allowed me to recognise that he was a committed teacher and encourage him to develop the ability to reflect on what he was doing. I supported him in altering his perspective not just as a teacher but as an enabler of learning.

The process also encouraged me to reflect on my own practice and develop my ability to act as a catalyst for others in their roles as nurses and educators.

Mentor, lecturer, learner

An important aspect of my role as a liaison lecturer is supporting mentors while students are on placement. A good mentor is approachable, a positive role model, pays attention to learning needs, and has effective interpersonal skills, supervisory skills and an ability to promote professional development. This is a lot to ask of a busy staff nurse, so support is vital.

The relationships constitute a dynamic triumvirate of mentor, lecturer and learner, each informing and supporting the other in the shared goal of achieving the desired learning outcomes and competencies.

The feedback I received linked to the Code in terms of prioritising people by supporting a colleague dedicated to improving education, and therefore care. It also helped me to show effective practice, as I reflected and acted on feedback to improve my own practice.

 

This article is for subscribers only

Jobs