Other fields have also embraced the concept of clinical supervision with a variation of the same though under a different name altogether. This paper is going to focus on the various aspects of clinical supervision. It will begin with a brief background of the concept.
A definition of the concept will be provided for purposes of understanding what clinical supervision is all about. It will then look at what happens in clinical supervision including the various stages involved. It will then provide a reflection of the good things that I encountered during clinical supervision before also looking at the bad things in clinical supervision. The paper will then look at some of the key issues in clinical supervision outlining their importance and how to improve on them in the future. This will then be followed by a discussion of some of the challenges that I faced and the mechanisms that I put in place to overcome them. The paper will conclude explaining why clinical supervision is important in nursing and the difference that it makes in the entire profession.
There has been a longstanding assumption in the medical field that nurses and midwives for that matter “learn on the Job” but in true sense there have been very few mechanisms that are put in place to ensure this aspect happens (Bryant, 2010, p. 36 ). Clinical supervision is an aspect that was introduced way back in the early 1990’s to describe a systematic structure for professional development for nurses and midwives. This concept was seen as a means of bringing together the aspect of reflection, development, individual responsibility and accountability within a framework that offers support and promotes safe practices (Gordon, 2000, p. 27). The overall intention of introducing this concept is to be able to promote safe practice and help in identifying the wilful bad practices that are exemplified nurses at the workplace and how these can be avoided in future operations (Bryant, 2010, p. 37 ). The NMC viewed the practices by nurses as individual responsibility and therefore in 1993 they put forward a code that stated “As a professional you are personally accountable for actions and omissions in your practice and must always be able to justify your decisions.” This showed the aspect of individual responsibility and accountability (NMC, 2008). The council later on realized the importance of clinical supervision as being essential to accountable nursing practice and therefore endorsed its adoption in every branch of nursing. However the implementation of this aspect was essentially left to the practitioners in the individualized or local situations (Jeremy & Suresh, 2007, p. 412). The council still supports the aspect of clinical supervision but believes that it is better developed at local levels in line with the local needs of the population (Bryant, 2010, p. 39 ). Clinical supervision is therefore described as “regular protected time for facilitated, in-depth reflection on clinical practice aimed to enable the supervisee to achieve, sustain and creatively develop a high quality of practice through the means of focused support and development.” (NCNM, 2008, p. 2) Brunero & Stein-Parbury (2008, p. 87) define clinical supervision as “ a process of professional support and learning in which nurses are assisted in developing their practice through regular discussion time with experienced and knowledgeable colleagues.” It is evident from this that the principle of discussion is used in clinical supervision. Discussion or reflection is used to assist the nurse’s figure out what happened in a given situation and what