January 26, 2010, by Teaching at Nottingham

Giving constructive feedback and setting clear targets

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Pam: “Right at the beginning we sit down, we work through what they – the goals they want to achieve and how they’re going to achieve them, and how they’re going to achieve the competencies, and basically today is to make sure that they are going to achieve their goals.”

Alison: “They’ll point out the positives, what they like about the students actions and behaviour, but then, will point out to them, you know, there’s a little bit more that you need to do. It’s not just as simple as that. This is quite a complex activity, and then take them on. And that can be quite daunting for students if they think they’ve got it right and then they find they’ve got a lot more to learn.”

Review meeting

Pam: “How do you think you’re doing as far as your action plan’s concerned? What – is there anything…”
Ochala: “I suppose, with the patients…”
Pam: “…that we’re not doing that you think we should be doing?”
Ochala: “Well, I assessed some patients, which is very important, and that’s why we’re all here.”
Pam: “Yeah.”
Ochala: “We’ve done the right things assessing them, asking the right questions and seeing what we can, like, do for each other, whenever, and how to keep them safe and away from hospital, which we’re doing and…”
Pam: “Okay, so…”
Ochala: “…that’s [inaudible – 02:35] until I get to the fourth week, to produce a care plan. Well I’ve done my second week.”
Pam: “Yeah, you did it.”
Pam: “But how – what we need to do is it was quite a basic care plan…”
Ochala: “Yeah.”
Pam: “…which you’ll appreciate.”
Ochala: “Yeah.”
Pam: “So what we need to do is get one fourth week and then again in the sixth week and compare and see how much you have learnt, okay.”

Intermediate review, two weeks later

Review meeting

Pam: “I think, what you need to do now, as well, is get another one, when you find one of the more difficult patients, go in, do that as well, and then, that will, the new one will achieve that, then you can, by comparing that one to the new one, you will then achieve, there’s another one here that says how you can prove that you’ve learned or something, we’ll find it, but it will demonstrate that you’ve actually learned and, and that will demonstrate that.”
Ochala: “Okay.”
Pam: “Okay. So you need, really, to have another care plan but you need to have it filled, it needs to be absolutely full.”
Ochala: “Okay.”
Pam: “Okay? And as you’ve been going in with the patients at the moment, the last couple of days anyway on your own, the easier ones, I think, I’ll let you go into some of the harder ones on your own.”
Ochala: “Okay.”
Pam: “Yeah? Or the more complex. Harder’s the wrong word really. They’re just more complex, you need to get more information.”
Pam: “So I’ll need, before I can cross these off, we need to get that doc- that care plan.”
Ochala: “Care plan in.”
Pam: “Yeah. So there is, there is still a bit of work to do.”

Alison: “I think that’s when the negotiation comes out in terms – the mentor settling with the student, this is what they expect and the students saying whether they feel confident to achieve it or not. Most mentors and students will work that out through negotiation. If they get stuck with it then that’s when they often invite somebody from the school to come in, because it may be that the student needs more time, needs more support, or isn’t just going to make the level expected in the time available, and then you have to do an action plan to set that system up so the student has more time or knows what’s going to happen if there isn’t any more time.”

Alison Clark , 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.

Posted in FeedbackLearning outcomesPlacements and work based learning