January 26, 2010, by Teaching at Nottingham

Becoming a professional practitioner

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Jo: “Within, like, nursing, it’s all evidence based, isn’t it? So, you know, to justify what you do, you have to learn and understand why you’re doing it and that’s how I see it, so if I approach something and I’m doing it, then I’m questioning myself why I’m doing it, why is it in this way? Who says that’s okay? Has there been any studies? Has there been any research? Have I observed somebody do it and have they justified why they’ve done it in that way? And I think that’s what nursing’s all about, isn’t it.”

Learning set meeting

Alison: “So it’s a skill that you just, sort of – we think it’s – the word a lot of people use is “commonsense.” But as you get more experienced it’s not really, that’s your expert practice. ‘Cause you’re doing it thinkingly. You can unpick it when somebody questions it. Yeah?

Alison: “And you can adapt it. So I’m mentally thinking now the domains of practice. You’ve got to work in a professional way, haven’t you? You’ve got to recognise some of the ethical issues and the – and moral issues of care.”

Annie: “It was quite nice seeing him at home because it was privacy, dignity, it was everything, wasn’t it?”

Jo: “Yes.”

Annie: “You’ve not got six other ears listening in…”

Jo: “No, and we discussed that.”

Annie: “…on the conversation. It’s a lot – and it’s in his own environment, so he’s got more control over you doing it than in hospital.”

Jo: “Yes, that’s right.”

Alison: “Hmmm. So that’s the NMC code.

Alison: “I profile myself for the NMC as a Teacher, and a Practice Teacher. Annie has to profile herself as a Nurse Specialist. And that’s why we teach you your profiling and your portfolio work so that you build up to fitness to registration, so we’re all working on the same principles.”

Pam: “I think there are basic standards that we have to, and they are the NMC guidelines and if we’re not achieving those basic things, then you, you can’t be nursing properly.

“That’s why we’ve got the code of conduct. They are our standards and if we don’t work towards those standards then we shouldn’t be doing the job that we’re doing. And some of the things are really basic things. You know. And if you can’t achieve the basic things, then you won’t be able to achieve the more technical stuff as you go up.”

Ochala: “So, I think NMC, the code is just like, okay, something that’s always the back of your mind, subconsciously, it just plays out when you’re dealing with patients, you’re living by the, you’re acting by the code but you’re not even noticing it sometimes, but subconsciously, it’s there, it’s always there.”

Review meeting

Pam: “Are we doing this all the time, do you think?”

Ochala: [Reads out proficiency, inaudibly]. “Yeah, because new legislation’s come out daily. New guidelines will come out almost every week. It is about keeping oneself updated and knowing, okay, I did this last week, is this still acceptable this week? So it’s just about keeping yourself updated.”

Annie Byng, Alison Clark, Jo-anne Fisher, Ochala Ojonugwa and Pam Winn (School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy)

Extracts from meetings between student nurses, their professional mentors and an academic, and interviews with the participants, produced as part of a CEPPL funded project on placement learning.
This article was originally published as part of PESL’s Teaching at Nottingham collection. Produced January 2010.

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