Development of a group model of clinical supervision to meet the needs of a community mental health nursing team

Authors

  • Ken Walsh RPN, BNurs, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Senior Lecturer and Practice Development Coordinator, Department of Clinical Nursing, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Jennifer Nicholson RN, RPN, DipAppSci(Nurs), GradDipHlthEd,

    1. Clinical Nurse Consultant, Enfield Community Team, Royal Adelaide Hospital Mental Health Service, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Colleen Keough RN, RM, RPN GradDipHlthCouns,

    1. Clinical Nurse, Enfield Community Team, Royal Adelaide Hospital Mental Health Service, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Robert Pridham GradDipComPsych, RN, RM, RPN,

    1. Registered Nurse, Enfield Community Team, Royal Adelaide Hospital Mental Health Service, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Myra Kramer RN, RPN, BEd MN(Mgt),

    1. Registered Nurse, Enfield Community Team, Royal Adelaide Hospital Mental Health Service, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Jennifer Jeffrey RN RPN DipAppSc, Nursing

    1. Clinical Nurse, Enfield Community Team, Royal Adelaide Hospital Mental Health Service, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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Correspondence: Ken Walsh, Department of Clinical Nursing, The University of Adelaide, c/– Glenside Hospital, PO Box 17, Fullarton Road, Eastwood 5065, South Australia, Australia. Email: kwalsh@glenside.rah.sa.gov.au

Abstract

Clinical supervision is an important tool in the development of quality nursing care. It involves a process of reflection upon practice, the aim of which is to improve clinical practices and hence improve patient outcomes. The term ‘clinical supervision’ is itself problematic in that it implies an hierarchical, rather than a nurse-centred and reflective, process. In addition there are a variety of models of supervision which range from the purely managerial to the clinical. This gives rise to confusion and in some cases suspicion, in clinicians. This paper reports on the development, implementation and evaluation of a group model of clinical supervision developed by a small team of mental health nurses in a community mental health setting. This team recognised the need for a formal clinical supervision model but was unsure as to the model which best suited their practice situation and needs. Through collaboration with a university department of nursing, this group developed its own model of group clinical supervision. This paper reports on the development of the model and its evaluation. The model was developed with a small team of community nurses and hence may not be applicable to other teams and other settings. However, the methods described may be useful as a guide to other nurses who wish to plan, implement and evaluate a model of clinical supervision in their workplace.

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