Nursing Associates Guest Blog - February 2018 - Cassie Hadfield

by CWP News - 22 March 2018

Hello my name is Cassie and I have been line managing the CWP Trainee Nursing Associates for the past year. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the trainees. As the Trainee Nursing Associate position is a new role I was quite nervous to undertake the job as their line manager and was eager to support the Trainee Nursing Associates to my best ability.

At first I supported three TNAs in the Central and East Cheshire area of the Trust. This is the geographical area that I have worked in for a while; therefore I was able to advise on placements and staff where they could access learning opportunities consistent with their assessment competencies.

Roisin Reynolds (Acting General Manager in East) and locality team managers in Central and East developed specific learning plans and activities for TNAs placements to accommodate and help TNAs achieve their goals whilst in practice with the teams. These plans reflected the needs of the population and are person-centred dependent on the service user’s journey.

These plans were extremely helpful in structured learning activities for TNAs and gaining feedback from staff and TNAs about the learning experience. These learning contracts have recently been reviewed and updated. This initiative has been transferred to other areas of the Trust to ensure TNAs obtain a breadth of experience and exposure to services and learning opportunities. My positive experience and support from staff gave me no hesitation in undertaking line management of the TNAs across the Trust and they are keeping me up to date with current evidence based practice!

Allison (TNA) fed back that she particularly enjoyed her time with the substance misuse team and was able to reflect on this experience and how the knowledge gained from here would transfer to other placement settings.

TNAs from other organisations within the Pilot have positively evaluated their placement experience in CWP and are complimentary of the support they have received. Subsequently further placements and learning opportunities have been arranged such as ‘mental health awareness’ sessions and further placement opportunities.

“My feedback for CWP is very positive, I was made to feel a part of the team and for my learning it was immensely valuable. I can and would see the benefit of another placement within your trust. I believe the knowledge I have gained can be taken back to my normal place of work and is valuable to many other placements too.” (Claire Johnson TNA from East Cheshire NHS Trust).

It has become apparent that all the TNAs are motivated to ensure person-centred care at the right time, for the right person, in the right place. The TNAs have been able to demonstrate transferable skills and underpinning knowledge to ensure people are receiving the best care possible and the teams within the placements have really appreciated this. There is a clear benefit to the Nursing Associate role and TNAs having substantial and comprehensive placements in a broad spectrum of services.

Being the line manager has given me the opportunity to watch this new role develop and how the individual TNAs have positively impacted in practice and achieved their goals. 

Additionally, the support and encouragement received for TNAs from mentors and staff has been exceptional. The TNAs are bringing added value to person-centred care and I am very proud to hear such wonderful feedback about the TNAs and of the work they are doing and look forward to hearing more excellent experiences in the next year!

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