Quentin has taught psychology and other social science classes at the university level and is considered a doctoral colleague at Capella University.
Nursing Education and Clinical Supervision
Nursing is one of the most important fields in medical care, as nurses work tirelessly on the front lines, tending to and treating their patients with the utmost care and support. In order to become a nurse, there are many educational components that have to be completed. In fact, from a historical perspective, education has always played a pivotal role. Linda Richards became the first nurse to earn a diploma in nursing in the United States in 1873.
Clinical supervision is linked to both education and skill building in the nursing field, and is seen as an activity that allows for reflection between a skilled nursing supervisor and newly seasoned nurses. Throughout each supervision session, both the supervisor and the supervisee build strong relationships that are based on confidentiality, expertise, and respect.
Types of Clinical Supervision
There are a variety of ways that clinical supervision is completed within the nursing field. There are no definitive ways of completing sessions, as it depends largely on where you work and what your employer's policies are. Let's take a look at some different ways that clinical supervision is handled within the workplace.
- One-to-one supervision.
This type of supervision is strictly between a nurse and a clinical supervisor. In this form of supervision, the nurse and their supervisor will work closely and typically share the same field of specialty, such as emergency room nursing or midwifery.
This type of clinical supervision allows trust to develop between the supervisor and the nurse. They can share feedback on how to improve nursing skills without the judgment of their peers.
- One-to-one peer supervision.
This type of supervision is between two nurses of equal status, taking it in turns to supervise each other. The benefit of this type of supervision is that there is no supervisor or authority figure in the process, so it encourages independence and the strengthening of problem-solving techniques.
It should be noted that this type of supervision is not appropriate for inexperienced nurses, or nurses that may require a more structured level of clinical supervision.
- Group supervision.
This type of supervision involves a group of nurses who meet with one clinical supervisor and share important components of their caseloads. For example, each nurse will take turns presenting a case to the group and then receive feedback on how to improve nursing skills or treatment ideas.
This type of supervision allows a nurse to receive multiple perspectives of their case, which in turn provides them with the ability to stay open-minded during the supervision process.
- Peer group supervision.
Similar to that of one-to-one peer supervision, this style of supervision allows for a group nurses of equal status to meet and discuss their caseloads or challenges they are experiencing. With this type of supervision, the nurses must be careful, as sessions can easily become too informal, taking the attention away from what needs to be discussed.
On the other hand, it allow nurses to discuss their personal experiences without anyone being in charge. This style of supervision can allow each nurse in the group to be more forthcoming with each other as there is no authority figure in the mix.
Policies of the Supervisory Process
In order for each clinical supervision session to not become too informal, there are policies that must be followed for the nurse and the clinical supervisor to stay on task. Remember, if policies are not followed, it can hinder the process, limiting the benefits for the nurse that requires the supervision. Let's look at a few.
1. Commitment to the process. Before meeting on a regular basis, both the supervisor and the supervisee must commit to the process. All parties will be committing to the structure of the meetings, which include possible topics that they will be discussing, as well as length of sessions and they type of supervision that will be taking place.
2. Confidentiality. It is extremely important that confidentiality plays an important role in each session. Confidentiality allows the learning nurse to openly talk about his feelings and types of treatments/skills that he is utilizing, along with ensuring that patient confidentiality being maintained throughout the process.
3. Established length of supervision. The length of supervision may vary depending on your educational or employer's requirements for where you work. It is important for both the supervisor and the supervisee to discuss the length of supervision and ensure that each session is properly documented to demonstrate that the process is being completed according to the requirements set forth by any governing bodies.
Nursing is one of the most important areas of the medical field as nurses work tirelessly to ensure that their patients are following correct treatment regimens and remain stable throughout the process. Clinical supervision allows for nurses, their supervisors, and even their peers to receive feedback on their nursing skills and to build a support system where they can safely discuss their feelings, thoughts, and actions in the workplace.
There are many different types of clinical supervision that can take place, each one offering different requirements and settings:
- One-to-one supervision - between a supervisor and a nurse
- One-to one peer supervision - between two nurses
- Group supervision - between one supervisor and group of nurses
- Peer group supervision - between several peers
It's important to follow different policies during supervision sessions, so be sure to make a commitment to the process, ensure that confidentiality is being followed, and that all parties are aware of the length of the supervision process. It really will increase your skills and provide you support in this important field!
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