Assessing assessment with my mentees to focus on

Assessing practice
learning is a vital component within pre-registration education programme.
Duffy (2004) stated that mentors must ensure that clinical skills are assessed
as a required standard. Mentors are required to support student’s learning in
an interpersonal environment and assess and judge their proficiency. The public
have a right to expect that qualified health and social care professional will
be safe, competent, caring and proactive practitioners. The mentors and
students thus have significant responsibility and accountability for the assessment of students ‘competence
and fitness to practice (Nursing and Midwifery council NMC,2008; Health and
care professional councilHCPC,2012; The college of Social workTCSW,2012 The
role of assessor while both complex and challenging, has essential benefits for
nursing students.

 Mentors assessing students’ practice
must understand the types of assessment and how these translate into day to day
practice. The two main types of assessment are formative and summative. I used
formative assessment with my mentees to focus on individual learning needs,
identifying her strengths and those areas that need development. This gives me
a chance to advise and correct the weakness and help to point out positive
aspects of my mentee’s practice (Welsh and Swann 2006). I discussed with my
mentee that she needs to improve her confidence to make safe decision before
and during a procedure. I also pointed out some concerns on her practice
document leaving it out to the last minute and be assertive enough to get it
filled in at a regular interval. Also discussed her
progress and conversely how she thought she was doing. At this point I
discussed her development and reassure that she is progressing well. I was also
pleased with her overall performance. I summarise review of her performance
with ‘sandwich’ feedback (Hinchcliffe 2004). It consists of giving not so valuable
feedback inserted between positive feedbacks.

Using reflection for assessment can be challenging as mentors
and students utilise reflection in so many different and potentially confusing
ways (price 2005) and so it is essential to always be clear about the ways in
which we plan to use reflection to make assessment .with my student we set
aside regular time for reflective discussions ,actions, and also to stimulate
challenging situation: we then used reflection to assess how he had acted, what
he had felt, and what he had learnt from those situation. I also encouraged my
student to write reflective pieces as part of his portfolio of learning.

To conclude, mentors have responsibility to make professional
judgement about student competency, as asserted by west et al. (2007) Assessing
this competency is a vital aspect of mentor’s role to protect the public and
maintain the professional standard. Upon reflecting on what I have found
difficult about the learning experience is that as a mentor I can be faced with
different forms of liability as I am responsible to validate the marks given
for an assessment. As a registered professional, I am accountable for decisions
I will make and ‘must act in the best interests of service users’ (HCPC 2012).
This is obviously no different to the role of the mentor and assessment of
student in clinical practice. For that reason, assessing my students’
competencies brings the same responsibility I have to my patients (Jarvis and
Gibson, 1997).