Coaching and Mentoring of intern nurses, Nursing and Midwifery Students on Clinical Posting on the Wards.

Actually I am very happy with this circular and hope that henceforth, coaching/mentoring of nursing and midwifery students is the province of NURSE CLINICIANS. I was a student at both Basic and BNSc level and I have a lot to say about Nurse-student relationship.

As a nurse clinician, the undermentioned are my suggestions for you:

1. Respect:
Respect is reciprocal. You have to respect the students; address them by their name (s). Some nurse clinicians are in the habit of addressing their student by his/her courses like BNSc student, Midwifery student, ENT student, intern nurse etc instead by his/her name. If they misbehave, you should never harass or shout at them in front of patients, coworkers etc.

2. Knowledge:
As a nurse clinician you must be knowledgeable enough of a competent teacher. You must know how to translate theoretical aspect of nursing into practice (praxis). You must keep abreast of the latest developments in nursing and be ready for unexpected question (s) from your students.

3. Neatness:
Always appear neat and package yourself elegantly.

4. Be an exceptional nurse:
It is common norm that regardless of your program of study (BNSc, Basic or post-basic), students are just posted to the wards to assist nurse clinicians in carrying out their monotonous tasks/duties such as serving of medication, dressing, taking of Vital signs, conducting deliveries etc. So always be different teach your students something new such as Evidence-based Nursing practice. Engage them in discussion, assignments, seminar presentations, researches etc.

5. Don’t bully them:
Student nurses are nurses in the making so take them as your colleagues and also take yourself as one among equal.
An injury to student nurse is an injury to all nurses. I envy the way our nursing managers respect medical students during their clinical/Exams postings in our hospital wards and I always expect them to extend same to nursing students.

There is need for attitudinal changes toward Nurse-Student relationship in our hospitals.

Part two (STUDENT side) and part 3 ( NMCN/GOVT side) coming soon.

Thank you.

By Ismail Gwarzo RN

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