Adult Nursing staff: Lee Roberts

I am a registered adult nurse with a clinical background in cardiology and gastrointestinal nursing care. Before I joined BCU as a lecturer in Nursing, I worked as a qualified specialist community public health nurse (health visitor), my work involved the management of complex safeguarding cases, health promotion, and public health nursing. Most recently, I worked in an integrated sexual health and contraceptive service, providing support in GUM and community-based clinics.

I joined the university in January 2017, and currently teach on a variety of undergraduate pre-registration nursing modules including Adult Nursing Practice, Nursing in Society, and Clinical Skills and Decision Making. As a registered professional, I feel I have developed experience in educating a supporting student nurses and junior staff in clinical practice. I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings within my clinical career, and have been able to draw upon these experiences to provide specialist support and advice. These experiences have allowed me to develop my skills as a clinician, but have also contributed to my developing confidence as a lecturer. I have always wanted to ensure students feel able to grow and developed, challenge, and enquire whilst on placement with me. My aim was to support them in providing safe, high quality care that is evidence based. As such, I recognised the need for students to become more critical thinkers, and I believe I have a key role to play in harnessing these skills within my current role. As a mentor in clinical practice, I had the opportunity to work with student nurses on an individual bases during their 9-12 week placement. Here, we are able to develop a mentor-student relationship based on trust, and I was able to support the student in their development and success.

I appreciated the need for students to learn the “science” of nursing in practice, and as a mentor I would utilise techniques such as question and answer, discussions, simulations, and clinical practice to support students develop their knowledge. This was often an area that students would enjoy developing, and most would be excited about opportunities to gain new skills, knowledge and understanding. On reflection, I recognise the emphasis I also put into teaching the “art” of nursing; the concepts of care and compassion for example. As a mentor working within students, I recognised that they would bring these qualities with them, but I was always keen to enhance and develop these as essential nursing skills, ensuring patients become the students’ true focus during placement. Working one on one with a student allowed me to role model these behaviours and qualities. Students seemed to reflect on their own approaches as a result, and we would often use reflection as a way to further enhancing their understanding of the nursing “art”.

I am looking forward to the peer and student observation project, and feel that as a new staff member, the feedback will be beneficial in my continuous professional development. Having left the clinical setting this year to work as a new lecturer, I am currently in a period of transition. Whilst I support approximately 40 personal students on the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing programme, and have the opportunity to aid their development on a more individualised bases, the majority of sessions delivered at the university will be for groups, ranging in size from 20 to 150 students. Such a change has meant that I am now developing my skills, experience, and confidence in teaching and managing significantly larger groups than in clinical practice. Certainly for the module I am now co-leading, the current Cohort size is over 200 students. Having introduced different teaching techniques when delivering lectures to large groups, I am looking forward to explore how these come across to students, and whether they found this beneficial for their learning.

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