Reflection of Mentoring a Student Nurse

Davis (1980) states evaluation is a “process of delineating, obtaining and providing information useful for making decisions and judgements”. Jarvis and Gibson (1997) goes on to suggest evaluation is an examination of the appropriateness of the aims, content and objectives set by the mentor. After reflection the appropriate action can then be taken.
During my students placement I encouraged feedback from her as I had no real way of gauging what I was teaching she was retaining. She said on a number of occasions that she was happy with my teaching methods, but I wasn’t reassured she was telling the truth. On reflection I realised she may not have been telling the truth for a number of reasons. Possibly fear as she didn’t know how I would react to her answers, both of us were just starting to build a working relationship and trust takes time to build. Confidence plays a big role as you have to have conviction in your answers and be prepared to back them up with a constructed argument or rationale. A good example was breaking bad news to family. I asked her if she had ever been present when doctors had given bad news and how she had felt about it. She informed me that she hadn’t been present during a conversation but that she had been involved with a patient dying on the ward. As none of the nurses had discussed with her how she felt it had been quite an upsetting experience. So I first explained what “Withdrawal of Treatment” actually meant, a transition from actively treating to making the patient comfortable, pain free and eventually dying with as much dignity and respect as possible. We briefly discussed the Liverpool Care Pathway and how we would implement it. After this conversation she expressed a desire to sit in during the process of the doctors breaking the news to the family. I now felt confident in asking both the doctor and the family if my student could be present. After the conversation I asked my student to feed back to me how she felt...