Review and letters

This week’s review and letters

A true lesson in nurse teaching

Supporting Learning in Nursing Practice: a guide for practitioners
Edited by: Sally Glen and Pamela Parker
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 1403902925
Price: £17.99

This is a comprehensive and practical text, detailing the journey of
teaching practice and education since 1989. It allows the reader to identify
and consider the processes of change that nurse teaching has undergone
throughout the years, and is a valuable tool for any nurse undertaking
assignments/ research, looking for guidance on nursing education progress.

The main body of the text is the most informative section, discussing
enquiry-based learning. This is an adapted learning tool that is considered to
fulfil the learning needs of the nursing student in the 21st century – whether
they are learning to practice as novices or specialists.

One chapter is dedicated to its application, while further chapters describe
responsibilities of supervisors, dealing with conflict, negotiating learning
contracts and identifying learning experiences for the student.

This book will provide guidance for the link lecturer. It demonstrates
worthwhile models already being implemented in certain NHS trusts, for the
future development of the lecturer’s role in a team approach to student
teaching and learning. The practitioner is able to fully appreciate the role
and extent of support that is to be gained from the lecturer working with and
as part of the clinical team.

Some may argue the worth of this text in the OH setting. Yet, our NHS trust
OH department has become a new part of the curriculum for the teaching of
novice nurse students, and has subsequently taught about nine students over the
past year.

The book doesn’t refer to the teaching of students in the OH setting, but it
is an extremely valuable tool in demonstrating the most advantageous approach
to teaching the students to our team, while understanding their needs and ours.

This book is well planned in its content and layout, and was consequently
easy to absorb.

I would recommend it to members of clinical and teaching staff for its clear
and helpful advice in supporting students throughout the learning process.

This book would also be ideal for students as it provides a succinct review
of nursing education – past, present and future – and lends itself to a better
understanding of the learning process.

By Lesley Baxter, an OH nurse adviser at Nottingham Occupational Health

WRS risk assessments are important

Carole Spiers makes some important points when she reminds us of the
importance of carrying out work-related stress (WRS) risk assessments
(Occupational Health, December 2003), and I agree with her entirely.

On a practical note, however, some managers recoil at the thought of dealing
with psychological issues, which is probably understandable. The risk is that
OH practitioners will then be deluged with requests to carry out WRS risk
assessments on top of an already full workload.

On the other hand, managers and supervisors are (or should be) very
conversant with job requirements. This knowledge can be used alongside trained
assessors (such as safety or HR professionals, or safety representatives) to
systematically analyse the potential sources of stress in any job, and put
plans in place to minimise them.

The expertise of OH professionals is more usefully used in contributing to
those WRS risk assessments where particular individuals are known to be more
vulnerable. This process is then no different to, say, doing manual handling
assessments for individuals at greater risk.

Having applied this approach in many organisations from many different
sectors, I have found that a more pragmatic use of all resources is possible,
with greater job satisfaction for all concerned – including the OH advisers.

Dr Jacques Tamin Medical director and chief occupational physician Interact
Health Management


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