Supporting mentors and students in practice: who's who

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A number of professionals are involved in supporting students in practice, from mentors to personal tutors and practice educators. You'll find a description of their roles below.

Associate mentor

An associate mentor supports students during their clinical placement and provides formative feedback. An associate mentor is a registered practitioner with a minimum of six months post-qualification experience and has attended a specific local HEI preparation session. As part of their professional mentor development an associate mentor completes the cycle of mentor development every two years.

Mentor

As an ODP mentor, you are an ODP, nurse or midwife who holds a current registration and has successfully completed an NMC/CODP approved Mentor Preparation Programme.

This is a key role in the support and development of students in training. It is important that students are supervised by mentors who are positive role models and who embrace the values of the NHS Constitution. The quality of mentorship will very often determine the quality of a student's placement experience. It is your role to maintain professional credibility and, working with your student for 40% of their placement time, oversee their development through continual feedback and support.

A mentor:

  • performs summative assessment
  • must demonstrate competence in the area of assessment
  • must implement University assessment regulations and hospital policy
  • mentor two ODP students within a two-year time period to remain on the 'live' register.

ODP mentors should hold, or are working towards (to be completed within a two-year time period), at least one of the following: mentorship qualification at level 3 (or above), Post Graduate Certificate in Education, postgraduate award in healthcare education, level 2 mentorship/Cert Ed qualification and has completed level 3 modules, the Scottish National Approach to Mentor Preparation

Practice educators

A practice educator is an ODP who holds a current registration and has successfully completed a CODP approved Mentor Preparation Programme. Practice educators have a minimum of three years post-registration experience and possess a relevant first degree or are enrolled and working towards a relevant first degree. It is important that ODP students are supervised by practice educators who are positive role models and who embrace the values of the NHS Constitution. The quality of their mentorship will very often determine the quality of a student's placement experience

The role of the practice educator is to manage and co-ordinate student placements for Anglia Ruskin University. They work in partnership with mentors, clinical manager, education champions, link lecturers and the healthcare organisation education lead promoting and enhancing the learning environment. They play a vital role which includes:

  • overall responsibility for students in placements
  • organising workplace teaching sessions
  • placement organisation and mentor allocation
  • holding current mentor data and providing regular updates to the University
  • attending ODP education meetings
  • disseminating student ODPs allocation information to a designated member of staff within the clinical areas
  • collating ward returns and monitoring student attendance including sickness and absence.

Education champions

Education champions are Anglia Ruskin University academics who play a key role in establishing and maintaining effective communication links between the University, the clinical provider and other stakeholders such as Health Education East of England. In addition, they co-ordinate the educational audit process and chair the Practice Education Committee meetings every two months with the key education leads from your organisation. These meetings follow a standard agenda and include a review of student and mentor evaluations as well as external reviews such as the CQC.

Education champions work closely with the healthcare organisation/independent sector education lead and clinical learning leads to provide support such as drop-in surgeries and link visits. As such, their contact details and planned visit dates are published in the clinical areas.

Personal tutors

These are students' personal and academic tutors. Their name and contact details should be on the front of each student's practice assessment document. The role of personal tutors is vital in the progress of students' journey on the course; they assist in the exploration of the theoretical perspectives from each module and, in the classroom setting, help to prepare students to begin to relate theory to practical application. Personal tutors act as academic mentors and are fully involved in any personal or disciplinary factors which may impact on students' progress on the course. They also visit their students while they are in their practice placement.

Practice team

The role of the practice team is to manage and co-ordinate student placements for a number of Anglia Ruskin University pre-registration courses. They play a vital role which includes:

  • allocating students to the relevant audited clinical areas applicable to the stage of the programme
  • disseminating student nurse allocation information to a designated member of staff within the clinical areas
  • collating ward returns and monitoring student attendance including sickness and absence
  • working in partnership with mentors, clinical managers, education champions, healthcare organisation education leads and clinical learning leads about placement issues.