Support and supervision in practice: who's who

Education Champion Gerald Egbury:

Mentor is used as a generic term and covers all types of mentors such as assessors and supervisors. As a mentor for Healthcare Science students, you are a recognised Clinical Physiologist or Healthcare Scientist and have successfully completed an ARU approved Mentor Preparation Programme.

This is a key role in the support and development of students in training. It is important that students are supervised by mentors who are positive role models and who embrace the values of the NHS constitution. The quality of mentorship will very often determine the quality of a student's placement experience. It is your role to maintain professional credibility and, through working with a student during their placement time, to use your knowledge to supervise, advise and assess them.

Education Champions
Education Champions are Anglia Ruskin University academics who play a key role in establishing and maintaining effective communication links between the University, the clinical provider and other stakeholders such as Health Education East of England. In addition, they co-ordinate the educational audit process and chair the Practice Education Committee meetings every two months with the key education leads from your organisation. These meetings follow a standard agenda and include a review of student and mentor evaluations as well as external reviews such as the CQC.

Education Champions work closely with the Healthcare Organisation/Independent Sector Education Lead and Clinical Learning Environment Leads to provide support such as drop-in surgeries and link visits. As such, their contact details and planned visit dates are published in the clinical areas.

Personal Tutors
These are the students' personal and academic tutors. Their name and contact details should be on the front of each student's practice assessment document. The role of the personal tutors is vital in the progress of the students' journey on the course. The personal tutors assist in the exploration of the theoretical perspectives from each module and, in the classroom setting, help to prepare students to begin to relate theory to practical application. Personal tutors act as academic mentors and are fully involved in any personal or disciplinary factors which may impact on students' progress on the course. Personal tutors will visit their students when they are in their practice placements.

Practice Officer
The role of the Practice Officer is to manage and co-ordinate student placements for a number of Anglia Ruskin University pre-registration courses. They play a vital role which includes:

  • Allocating students to the relevant audited clinical areas applicable to the stage of the programme
  • Disseminating student nurse allocation information to a designated member of staff within the clinical areas
  • Collating ward returns and monitoring student attendance including sickness and absence
  • Working in partnership with Mentors, Clinical Managers, Education Champions, Personal tutor, Healthcare Organisation Education Lead regarding placement issues.