Skills of Clinical Supervision for Nurses: A Practical Guide for Supervisees, Clinical Supervisors, and Managers

By Meg Bond; Stevie Holland | Go to book overview

5
Support and catalytic skills
of the clinical supervisor

The clinical supervisor is expected to emphasise the ‘power to’ aspects of the power relationship, seeking to empower the supervisee and use enabling skills in which are embraced all the main principles of clinical supervision. The supportive and formative elements are the main means by which the normative function is carried out. This chapter will focus on these supportive and formative elements but these need to be balanced with normative too, seen within the context of the working alliance between supervisee and clinical supervisor and within the organisational setting. Chapter 6 addresses the more authoritative aspects of the clinical supervisor’s role more specifically, but in looking here in more depth at the support and catalytic skills of the clinical supervisor, we need to bear in mind that the aim of clinical supervision is the development and maintenance of quality practice.

In this and the next chapter, we refer to the clinical supervisor mainly in the context of one-to-one clinical supervision. However, we wish to emphasise that these skills are also necessary for all members of a clinical supervision group; Chapter 7 places this in context.


A framework for exploring the enabling skills of the
clinical supervisor

Dartington (1994: 101), in her study on idealism and despondency in hospital nursing, suggests that ‘What is usually absent is the opportunity to ask the question “Why?” of someone in authority, someone who is not surprised by the questions, who is interested in the answer and who can engage in a spirit of mutual enquiry’ For this spirit of mutual enquiry it will need someone to ask and someone to respond. Through using support and catalytic skills, the clinical supervisor can be the person to provide the opportunity for this mutual enquiry into the many complex aspects of practice for which there are no straightforward answers.

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