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Assistant grade nurses and nursing students : a diary study

Gillespie, Mark and Rivers, Ian (2017) Assistant grade nurses and nursing students : a diary study. Mental Health Practice, 21 (3). pp. 21-25. ISSN 1465-8720

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Abstract

Background Little is known about the role of the assistant grade nurse in the clinical development of pre-registration nursing students during their practice placements; even less is known about this relationship in the mental health field. Aim To explore the relationship between assistant grade nurses and mental health nursing students. Methods Using a phenomenological approach, diaries of nine participants – three nursing students, three assistant grade nurses and three mentors – helped to inform semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings Students recognised that a substantial percentage of their practice was supervised by assistant grade nurses. There was also a clear connection between assistant grade nurse supervision and the delivery of direct care. Conclusion This study has confirmed the existence of a more extensive educational relationship between assistant grade nurses and mental health nursing students than had previously been recognised.