Mentoring Needs of Novice Clinical Facilitators
Van Rensburg, Gisela H.
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Session presented on Friday, July 22, 2016: Purpose: The effectiveness of a clinical facilitator lies in how well learning outcomes are achieved in order to fulfil the practical component of a nursing student's studies as required by the SANC through co-ordination and facilitation of learning. Gaberson and Oermann (2010:30) support this by stating that the effectiveness of clinical accompaniment is evident by the extent to which it produces planned learning outcomes. Sayers, DiGiacomo and Davidson (2011:49) acknowledge that a nurse educator's clinical competency is not enough to perform the duties he/she should carry out, and agrees that adult education principles is a required proficiency that a nurse educator should have. Clinical facilitators have to possess facilitation skills and these skills could be taught through a formal clinical facilitation course or programme. However, clinical facilitators still need mentoring notwithstanding their formal training as clinical facilitators or not. The need for a mentoring programme for clinical facilitators could therefore support the successful facilitation of students. The role of clinical facilitators is to facilitate transfer of learning (theory-practice integration) in the clinical environment. This brings forth challenges when clinical facilitators do not have nursing education experience but are promoted from clinical practitioners/nurses to clinical facilitators with little background of teaching and clinical facilitation. A lack of mentoring programmes for novice clinical facilitators in hospitals to facilitate the transition of a registered nurse into the role of a clinical facilitator was identified. Methods: This study attempts to determine existing mentoring initiatives, explore mentoring needs, and develop an outline for a mentoring programme for clinical facilitators. In order to address this, a qualitative explorative study was conducted using unstructured focus group interviews. Three focus group interviews were conducted. Transcribed data and field notes were analysed using the qualitative data analysis method as described by Terre Blanche, Durrheim and Painter (2012). Results: The findings revealed the learning needs of clinical facilitators and a need for a mentor. It also highlighted the emotions related to confidence with specific feelings of powerlessness, and the clinical facilitator's view of their responsibilities. The participants agreed that they feel responsible for the outcome of the students they facilitate in clinical learning. However, the feeling of powerlessness makes the clinical facilitators experience an inability to facilitate the change they are responsible for. Conclusion: Not being able to bring forth change and grow in students is often to the detriment of patients and quality of care. The study therefore recommends a mentoring programme for novice clinical facilitators to ensure transfer of learning through the facilitation of theory-practice integration in the clinical environment.