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Questions Frequently Asked by Mentors

What should I do if a student becomes involved in investigations within the clinical area? 

Contact your link lecturer, the student’s personal tutor or the clinical teacher for your area. The student has a guideline to follow and should have already informed the School.

Is there a recognised mentorship programme? 

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery offers a mentor preparation module in line with NMC standards. For details of dates please contact Janet Keggie for Cardiff and Denise Williams for Aneurin Bevan.

In addition, the BSc (Hons) in Clinical Practice Teaching and Assessing module includes mentorship preparation.

Sometimes students cause concern regarding their competency levels – who should I contact? 

Please contact the link lecturer, personal tutor or clinical teacher.

Can nursing/midwifery students administer medication covered by a Patient Group Direction (PGD)? 

No. The NMC guidance says "The law states that only registered nurses may supply and administer a PGD, this cannot be delegated to any other person, including students".

What do I do with an allocated student when the area I work is closed on a recognised public holiday? 

Students do not have public holidays.  In this instance the student should contact the School via programme manager or Director CPPSU who will be able to advise them.

Are students required to follow any rules regarding the wearing of uniforms? 

Yes, it is extremely important that a professional image is portrayed by nurses and midwives and therefore all students are required to wear the regulation uniform when attending placement where uniform is worn by qualified staff. Students are required to follow Health Board guidelines for the wearing of uniform.

Can I allow a student to undertake a clinical skill which they have not had instruction within the theoretical element of their programme? 

Yes, if the clinical skill is part of the expected outcomes within the student’s Assessment of Clinical Skills document and you are prepared to provide appropriate advice and guidance.

Can students be used to "fill gaps" in the ward/practice placement establishment? 

Please note that in line with NMC guidelines students are not employees and therefore can not be used to “fill gaps” in the planned off duty or replace a member of staff.

Are third year students allowed time off practice to attend for interviews? 

Yes, students are allowed negotiated time off within their off duty to attend an interview.

What should I do if a student has time off sick whilst on placement, and I do not think they can achieve all of their practice outcomes in the time remaining? 

Contact the link lecturer or the student’s personal tutor for advice and guidance and to make them aware of the situation. If a student is absent for a long period of time then they can not expect to achieve the required level of clinical performance.

What should I do if the student has childcare problems and can only do late shifts and no weekends. How should I respond? 

Please refer this student to their personal tutor as students are required to experience the 7 days a week, 24 hours a day nature of nursing practice and will therefore undertake a range of shift patterns, including weekends and night duty. It is important to recognise that there are different shift patterns across the practice placement areas and students are expected to adopt the shift pattern of their allocated practice placement area.

Are students allowed to undertake 12 hour shifts patterns? 

It is recognised by the School that in some practice placement areas 12-hour shift patterns are the norm. Students are not required to undertake 12 hour shifts.

However, students can opt to undertake this shift pattern (pro-rata 37.5 hours per week) if it is of educational value and results in improved mentor support. In line with Department of Trade and Industry Working Time Regulations students under the age of 18 can not undertake 12-hour shift patterns.

In instances where students elect not to undertake this shift pattern, or it is deemed not to improve the educational value of the placement, students should adopt a traditional core shift pattern.

Can students negotiate their annual leave with their mentor? 

No, all annual leave is notified to the student at the beginning of their programme.

Where can I find information about a student’s academic profile? 

There are two routes of enquiry:

In the first instance you should speak to the link lecturer for your area who will be able to discuss any concerns and issues with you.
You can also contact the student’s personal tutor. If you are unsure who the personal tutor is please contact the Student Information Desk (SID) on 029 2068 7766.
Remember files kept on students are covered by data protection and you will not be able to gain access to them.

Can students organise their own off duty? 

Normally the student off duty is planned by the Mentor or Practice Placement Manager but we do ask that individual circumstance is considered in some instances, e.g. if travelling to placement is difficult or students have particular difficulties with dependants for a specific period of time.

What happens if the mentor is off sick? 

An associate-mentor should always be identified at the beginning of the placement who can then take over in such circumstances.

If a student is off sick while on Clinical Placement, can this time be made up during the same Clinical Placement by attending placement on designated days off? 

Yes but the time sheet must show the days off sick and the days worked to make up the time. As a guide a student can not work over the EU time directive of 48 hours in any one week. There is not a requirement for students to make up the time in this way and there are consolidation weeks at the end of each year to allow for this.

Are student entitled to study days/can they finish early/make appointment to see personal tutor? 

There needs to be an element of flexibility with regards to leaving early to see tutors. However, students are only entitled to study days on their ‘Health and Individual in Society’ module in the first year (6 University days, 6 study days for completion of distance learning packs) and 5 days in module 9.They should arrange to see their tutors in their own time.