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Assignment #1-Journal
Tania Le Surf
Stenberg College
Clinical Supervision

July, 2013
Assignment #1-Journal
Prior to beginning the Clinical Supervision course, honestly the writer can say that she thought
it was about going to be about the clinical practice in a hospital setting. She was correct to some degree
however, she was very much surprised when enlightened with the course outline. She was definitely
wrong! Upon reflecting on weeks one through six, the writer can unquestionably, without a doubt, inform
you that this course is not simply about our clinical placement. She will explain to you in this essay,
exactly what she has learned thus far. Though its name alone seems un-defined, the Clinical Supervision
course is one which examines the many details which come along with the title being a psychiatric nurse.
To be more specific, she will cover the following topics, models of and the reason for having clinical
supervision, the definition of and history of clinical supervision, what is reflection and how journaling can
help us with critical thinking, and lastly, some of the legalities of working as an RPN under a regulatory

During the first week, the writer was a little un-sure of herself. She was still getting used to being
a student for one, and maneuvering around on the moodle site. Being a single working Mom dripping
with children, setting time aside for schoolwork was also a conundrum for her. As she pondered the
question of, what the heck are models of clinical supervision? She quickly and eagerly dove into the
world of articles and journals searching for an answer. What the writer learned was that clinical
supervision had models and they were not found on the runways of London. She learned the models
were a very systematic method into which the supervisory role is organized. Some examples of these
models include, the manager role, the teacher role and the role model. Each student will require a
different model to which should be tailored to their specific learning needs. It is when the incorrect
model is used within the supervisor/supervisee relationship, problems can occur which in turn could have
a negative impact on the learning experience. She also learned that, implementation is more difficult.
It requires time, commitment, openness to self- reflection, admission of areas of weakness and a wiliness
to develop and grow(Fowler,2013). The following week of class was all about rudimentary features
of clinical supervision. Again, the writer had NO idea what this meant. All of these un-familiar words left
her wondering what they meant. She pulled out her nursing textbook and primed her highlighter for a
good workout. What she learned was that the word rudimentary according to Merriam-Webster meant,
consisting in first. With this in mind, she continued to research and learned also that the reason
for even having clinical supervision is not only for the benefit of the student but is very much ,protect
people in care from nurses and to protect nurses from themselves.(Barker, 2009). In other words, what
she then took from this weeks session is that because we are student nurses and will be learning, we will
benefit from having a more experienced nurse beside us, guiding us and enabling us to learn to think
critically and reflect upon new experiences without the fear of not being supported. As such, comparing
others viewpoints on what clinical supervision meant also gave her more insight as to what to expect.
Fowler,(2013) stated, you spend time with a more experienced clinician, exploring what you do, how
you do it and how you could do it better. This cleared any un-certainties she may have had about
what clinical supervision was all about. Another definition she came across was, Critical reection, a


skill necessary for lifelong learning, requires the practice of self-assessment informed by external
feedback to develop a plan for improvement.(Jarris, 2012). This made her think of the nursing process,
something she has done as an LPN. The writer feels the difference is that being a psychiatric nurse will
mean we will need to learn how to step up our skills in order to pick up on subtleties we may have missed
as LPNs.
Week three, where has the time gone? She was excited to learn about what the fuss was all about.
Anything to do with history fascinates her, so she was scratching at the dirt with her feet excited to learn
more about the history clinical supervision. Firstly her own definition of clinical supervision is that,
the clinical supervisor is there to act as a teacher and a role model and as a support person for the
student. This aligns with Gail Stuarts definition as being, a support mechanism for practicing
professionals within which they can share clinical organizational, developmental, and emotional
experiences with another professional in a secure, confidential environment in order to enhance
knowledge and skills.(Stuart, 2009, p. 162.) The writer was very much was fascinated to learning about
the Angels of Mercy who were the army nurses of WWI and WWII. She felt moved realizing how these
nurses had paved the way for our profession today.
Sliding into week four, the course further delved into the topic of reflection. Her expectations
were that we are to think about the whys and hows, where and whens of a given topic. We need to
really examine our own feelings and how and why we react (ed) a certain way. She learned there is a
history to reflection and it brought forth by a man in 1933 who we knew as Dewey. He described
reflection as being an, active consideration of a form of knowledge to determine its support and
usefulness. As she wrote in her journal about this topic, she then challenged herself to begin thinking
with more reflection. She began writing about how she felt after having her teenage son refuse to clean
his room, she wrote about how she felt about being a student again and found that this also aligns with the
physical symptoms of stress she have been exhibiting since starting this program. She noticed that upon
further reflection, that she is constantly in a state of holding her breath, trying to do it all. As she is an
instructor with a rather large class at the moment, she struggled with having loads of marking to do on top


of her current scholarly load. She finds that after this weeks lesson, she is more aware of her own
feelings and what or why is causing them. Journaling is helping her get her feelings out on paper. In doing
so, she feels she is able to release them and let them go. When reflective thinking is paired with
journaling as a learning activity, students develop self-analysis and an increased awareness of their
environment.(Schuessler, Wilder, & Byrd, 2012, p. 96) This explanations mirrors quite closely with her
feelings and appreciation of journaling.
By the fifth week of clinical supervision, the writer had a much clearer understanding of what this
class was all about. Her expectations for this week were that of understanding the legal and ethical
responsibilities of being an RPN (registered psychiatric nurse). She was not expecting to learn about any
boundaries we might face in the future. She then learned about portability within our country and that
we face obstacles in working outside of Canada. Upon reflecting back to learning about the Angels of
Mercy army nurses from WWI and WWII, she was enlightened to understand that the need for
psychiatric nurses became apparent when the soldiers returned from combat and suffered from psychiatric
disorders. Specially trained nurses were needed to care for these individuals. She wondered how fantastic
it would be to have her hands on journals from some of those nurses, she is sure they had so many
interesting stories to tell.
Week six it was her expectation to learn about standards of practice. She was confused as how
these might differ from the standards which she adheres to as an LPN. What she learned was that there are
four standards. The CRPNBC website is a great resource to which she has thus been using frequently.
She wrote in her journal of how she must learn these new S.O.P (standards of practice) and also how she
must truly understand what they mean. As an LPN, she uses the nursing process all the time, what she
feels will be different is that as an RPN she will be focussing more on psychiatric problems rather than
medical issues. The writer is looking forward to being more knowledgeable with mental illness and how
to improve on her current nursing process skills.
In conclusion, the past few weeks have been packed with an abundance of great information.
Overall, she has been very impressed with all she has learned. She is now learning to reflect on a daily


basis and is finding her daily journaling very helpful. She has explained to us there are different models
within clinical supervision and the reason for which it is necessary. She has given us the definition of
clinical supervision and also touched on a very small piece of the history relating to it. She has explained
to us what reflection is and how journaling can be helpful with critical thinking. Lastly, she examines that
there are some legalities within the role of psychiatric nurse working under a regulatory body. She feels
she has learned so much these past few weeks and is impressed by this. She is anxious to what the next
few weeks will unfold.



Barker, P. (Ed.). (2009). Psychiatric and mental health nursing: the craft of
Caring (2nd ed.p.656.).London, England: Hodder Arnold.
Fowler, J. (2013). Advancing Practice: from staff nurse to nurse consultant Part 4: Clinical
Supervision. British Journal of Nursing, 22(4), 240. Retrieved from
Jarris, J. (2012). Critical reflection: lessons learned from a communication skills assessment. Retrieved
from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=b34edc70-b80e-41ce-b85fd2d08fc4c5f1%40sessionmgr110&vid=15&hid=114&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d
%3d#db=pbh&AN=74437157 (Reprinted from Medical Education, by J. Jarris, 2012)
Rogers, C. (2002). Defining Reflection: Another look at John Dewey and Reflective thinking. Teachers
college record, 104(4), 842-866. Retrieved from http://www.jcu.edu/education/ed100/Rodgers,
Schuessler, J., Wilder, B., & Byrd, L. W. (2012). Reflective Journaling and Development of Cultural
Humility in Students. Nursing Education Research, 33(2), 96-99. Retrieved from
Stuart, G. (2009). Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing (9 ed.p.162.). United States of America:
Elsevier Inc.