Topic:  Professional learners and their transition to novice practitioners: Building resilience – the role of the practice based supervisor. How can we better the odds? – Caroline Hudson

Resources: You can download Caroline’s slides.

Session summary: One of the main influences on learners’ preparation for professional practice is practice-based educators. Resilient approaches in the student:supervisor relationship will be explored in this session. Learners have an ‘acute need for positive mentoring’ (Skovholt & Trotter-Mathison, 2011, p. 87) and the quality of mentoring in early clinical experience can be a ‘make or break’ issue (Andrew et al., 2009, p. 17). Once qualified, novice practitioners can experience, ‘Transition Shock’ (Duchsher, 2009) and preceptorship programmes are recommended to buffer this novice phase (Darzi, 2008).

High levels of stress have been found in health and social care students (Randle, 2003; Kinman & Grant, 2011). Resistance has been reported as a form of resilience in student nurses, which may be compounded by supervisors feeling disempowered (Jackson et al., 2011). The need to value mentors has been a focus of a recent commissioned report (Willis, 2012) and insights into a strengths-based approach to this role will be shared from the presenter’s perspective of preparing practice-based educators.

Promoting resilience within, and through, this critical relationship may reduce levels of work related stress. Supervisors provide a ‘holding environment’ (Skovholt & Trotter-Mathison, 2011), but constraints are often cited in the literature such as: lack of time, conflicting demands, workload issues and inadequate preparation (Myall et al., 2008; O’Driscoll et al., 2009) that challenge this supportive role. Indeed, practice-based supervisors have been found to have high levels of stress which may compromise their ability to identify stress and support novices (Wallbank, 2010).

How can we better the odds? Using context-specific clips edited from Box of Broadcasts, exploration of the contextual issues (environment) for the learners/novice practitioners (individual), and consider what a strengths-based approach might offer. In particular, refocusing reflection to explore social and emotional competencies (Grant & Kinman, 2011) will be discussed.

Biography: Caroline Hudson has a nursing background, MSc in Professional Health Care Education with extensive experience of preparing mentors, and has developed a resilience toolkit for mentors to use in practice. More laterally, she has been working with colleagues and students to explore resilience approaches in Practice Teacher Preparation at the University of Brighton. Caroline is currently offering Wellbeing and Resilience workshops and presentations at local NHS Trusts and will be hosting a Higher Education Academy (HEA) funded workshop on Building Resilience through the Supervisory relationship (July 2013).

Of particular interest to: Health and social care supervisors/practitioners or students, service users, academics, researchers and anyone with an interest in supervisory roles or the context of health and social care practice.

This session took place on Thursday 14 March 2013.

The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research!

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