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London South Bank University

HSC Practice Learning

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Practice Learning Teams - Nursing Assoc

Practice Learning

This section of the site will give you all the information you need on practice learning and covers the following:

Practice learning opportunities

A document that will be useful for you to refer to will be the Practice Learning Opportunities Guidelines that is given to all of our Pre-regustration Nursing students.

The overall aims of the practice learning opportunities are:

  • To provide relevant experience in the chosen field of nursing to meet the practice component of the curriculum
  • To provide a structure for support and facilitation of practice learning outcomes
  • To enable students to acquire and demonstrate the competencies as required by the NMC.
  • To facilitate integration of theory and practice
  • To enable students to identify with a specific NHS Trust.

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Key features of practice experience:

Practice learning and assessment is considered of equal importance to theory. Students are encouraged to integrate theory and practice as well as to develop their reflective skills. Practice learning is planned to achieve the following:

  • To provide experience, in conjunction with the service, of the seven day per week, 24-hour nature of healthcare to achieve competence.
  • To ensure learning opportunities are in supportive learning environments, in collaboration with care providers.
  • To provide practice learning opportunities in a range of contexts, and to equip students with an understanding of the diverse needs of clients and patients, their families and carers.

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Practice learning teams

The team consists of the Associate Professor, who is the identified lead for practice learning, a number of Senior Lecturers throughout the course teams and the administrative team working with practice learning, strengthen the partnership between education and healthcare providers in order to ensure best practice and a high standard of practice learning opportunities.

These teams work in partnership with departments and healthcare providers to support curriculum development and the delivery of the programme in the practice environment, and work closely and collaboratively with Trust based Placement Managers/Practice Facilitators. This collaborative work involves ensuring appropriate practice learning opportunities are available to students and that practice learning is quality monitored biennially.

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The role of the link lecturer

The link lecturer is the key liaison for practice learning environments from the university. As an education provider the School links with a large number of placement provider organisations in NHS Trusts, the independent and 3rd sector organisations. The role of Link lecturer does not involve lecturers engaging in care of service users but to support students learning in practice and to support staff mentoring students. A few link lecturer staff have honorary contracts with specific Trusts and are therefore engaged with service users.

In addition to link lecturers Senior School staff also liaise with the main NHS Trust placement providers. Each of these Trusts has a named key account lead who meets with the senior Trust staff on a regular basis to discuss any possible changes or areas of impact that may affect the relationship and to discuss the changing demands of their service. In addition Key Account meetings are held to review at strategic level, the provision and discuss any anticipated changes that may result from policy and governance requirements.

Link lecturers have a number of link areas to liaise with and the model employed may vary in the practice placement organisation.

There are core activities for link lecturers:

  • Visit students.
  • Support students with identification of learning opportunities.
  • Educate mentors about academic changes and developments.
  • Support mentors and respond to concerns.
  • Attend student and mentor meetings as appropriate.
  • Facilitate reflection with students and mentors.
  • Instigate and undertake the educational audit process and review the action plan in partnership with the practice placement manager according to the quality monitoring process.

Link lecturers should provide and display their contact information in each practice learning environment including:

  • Work address
  • Contact details including email address
  • Alternative contact person
  • When you will be visiting the practice learning environment

The link lecturer should arrange and communicate the cover for annual leave and/or planned sickness/absence.

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Visiting and supporting students

  • Contact students in practice learning environment by telephone, email or a visit as per individual University standard.
  • Maintain contact with students and practice learning environment staff by telephone, email or visit as per individual University standard.
  • Support student reflection on theory and practice in the context of their practice learning.
  • Act in accordance with University and Trust policies and processes when concerns are raised about the student or concerns being raised by the student or a group of students.
  • Supporting and developing mentors.
  • Inform mentors about the curriculum, and any changes and practice learning assessment documents.
  • Support mentors to ensure effective use of the practice learning assessment documentation.
  • Support mentors in their role with students and attend tripartite meetings as required.
  • Support mentors to reflect on their experience and development as a mentor.
  • Plan and deliver mentor updates as per the agreed format in the organisation.
  • Give feedback from students’ evaluation of practice with the practice learning environment and develop and review action plans as required.

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Quality monitoring of practice learning areas

Quality assurance strategies for the practice learning environment are in effect for educational needs and quality monitoring is carried out over a 2-year period.Placement Managers/Practice Facilitators who are based in the Trusts, form an integral part of the quality monitoring exercise.

Quality Monitoring is undertaken by educational and senior practitioners from that area. Preparation and support for staff in relation to quality monitoring is a continual feature of the role of the Link Lecturer. Any areas of concern are discussed with staff and action plans identified.

Evaluation by the students takes place following each practice learning opportunity which is an essential part of monitoring practice learning opportunities. Mentors complete evaluation forms as part of their annual mentor update session. Equally, regular meetings with the practitioners are invaluable forums for identifying ways in which good practice can be supported and shared. The evaluation reports are communicated to practice learning areas and Trusts and other organisations. Through this process ways in which good practice can be supported and any issues arising can be resolved.

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Quality monitoring processes

  • Plan and undertake the educational audit with the nominated service staff according to the school audit process.
  • Develop an action plan if required and review as necessary.
  • Report attendance at mentor updates according to local policy to ensure the local mentor database is current.
  • Attend education and service meetings as necessary and share appropriate information with practice learning providers.
  • Provide service staff with information about continuing professional development and discuss as appropriate.

In addition link lecturers are responsible for maintaining their own professional and employment updates as appropriate e.g. NMC registration or other relevant body.

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Find out who your link lecturer is

It is important that you are aware of who your link lecturer is, if you are unsure please check here to find out.

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