Suzanne MacFarlane

Paediatrics Practice Development Nurse, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

Resilience-based Clinical Supervision Participant

We offer placements to students from four different universities. Based on the 2020-21 student feedback, we identified poor clinical placement experience as being an issue, particularly being overwhelmed, fatigued and stressed. In addition, we knew we needed to work on our retention because in 2020, no third-year students had applied to work with us and in 2021 it was only six. We also recognised that because our staff were themselves experiencing burnout, how were they going to support our students?

We responded to the needs of the students by offering Resilience-Based Clinical Supervision to give them a safe space to be open and honest about any scenarios they wished to discuss, so that they enjoyed their placement and eventually would apply for substantive nursing posts in the Trust within paediatrics. Past clinical supervision delivery had had little impact because of its traditional nature, whereas Resilience-based Clinical Supervision focusses on people and not processes. We have since done over 35 sessions.

The ProQOL (professional quality of life) tool was used to establish levels of resilience, compassion fatigue and burnout with the students. The pre and post session data clearly showed an improvement in terms of self-doubt and feelings of emotional fatigue. Students also started to use grounding strategies and checking in with each other as support. Feedback suggests this helps as a coping strategy.

We have seen a huge improvement in recruitment, with 11 students applying for substantive posts in 2022 and 16 in 2023!

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