Clinical Skills Development Service

What is Clinical Supervision?

As a nurse or midwife, you dedicate your life to caring for others, but who supports you?

Clinical Supervision, it’s about taking time out to feel supported, resilient, safe, and confident in your practice as a nurse or midwife. Clinical Supervision, despite its name, isn’t about direct monitoring but rather offers a confidential setting for nurses and midwives to reflect, gain support, and enhance skills with a trained clinical supervisor. It serves as protected time, alleviating the emotional strain of the work that nurses and midwives do.

Clinical Supervision Education and Training for Clinical Supervisors at CSDS – October 2023

What is Clinical Supervision?

Clinical Supervision has three core functions:

  • restorative
  • normative
  • formative

The restorative function acknowledges the emotional impact of patient care on nurses and midwives, providing them with a safe space to reflect and restore. It’s about recognising that those who care for others also need care themselves. By addressing the emotional burden inherent in the work they do. Clinical Supervision helps reduce burnout and compassion fatigue fostering growth and resilience.

The normative function ensures safe and ethical practice by guiding nurses and midwives through complex ethical dilemmas and supporting professional practice.

Lastly, the formative function focuses on learning and development, aligning with the lifelong journey of growth for nurses and midwives.  Through reflection and skill development, Clinical Supervision enhances the skills and confidence of individual nurses or midwives, ultimately improving their practice and patient outcomes.

Clinical Supervision Education and Training for Clinical Supervisors at CSDS – October 2023

Misconceptions

Clinical Supervision isn’t about surveillance or judgment, nor is it about monitoring performance or a process of evaluation. Instead, it offers a confidential and voluntary space for professional development and growth, fostering a culture of support and continuous development.

What Clinical Supervision is

  • Confidential
  • Voluntary 
  • Culturally safe and respectful  
  • Recommended for all nurses and midwives
  • Professional development
  • Regular
  • Provided by a trained Clinical Supervisor

What Clinical Supervision is not

  • Debriefing / one-off session
  • A form of direct or indirect monitoring and/or evaluation of a person’s work practice 
  • Provided by a line manager, educator, or direct colleague 
  • Performance management
  • Focused on personal issues 
  • Preceptorship, coaching or clinical facilitation 

Why you should consider Clinical Supervision

In recent years, the healthcare landscape has become increasingly challenging, characterised by escalating workloads, staff shortages, and competing demands. Clinical Supervision acts as a proactive solution to tackle these challenges head-on. It provides nurses and midwives with a structured framework to contemplate their work, access support, address practice dilemmas, and foster professional growth.

This support system extends to all nurses and midwives. For new graduates entering the healthcare arena, navigating its complexities can be daunting. For them, Clinical Supervision provides essential guidance and support to empower them in their roles and ensure their success.

Group Clinical Supervision & testimonials from participants

How to get involved

Accessing Clinical Supervision is simple. Reach out to Cathy Boyle on cathy.boyle@health.qld.gov.au to express your interest. Whether you prefer individual sessions or group settings, there’s a format that suits your needs.

Clinical Supervision is more than just a program - it creates a safe space for reflection, support, and skill development that not only benefits nurses and midwives but also enhances patient care and creates a healthier workplace culture.