Since publishing “Do We Have To Bare Our Very Soul” a clinical supervision (CS) research paper which compared the personal and professional barriers that some healthcare practitioners face in Belfast Northern Ireland and Wagga Australia which prevent participation in CS.
The author’s review of the current literature and discussions with some of the practitioners surveyed in Belfast and Wagga in order to gain a better understanding around some of the barriers and challenges that clinicians face in participating in CS indicated that little had changed.
The barriers identified in 2015 remain i.e. clinicians voiced concerns around previous bad experiences, having their manager as a supervisor they didn’t feel that this process worked due to a conflict of interests, lack of understanding, constraints on clinician’s time and limited resources of health care. Personal barriers relate to the way in which individuals perceive themselves in relation to CS including emotions such as fear of change, lack of confidence, knowledge, skills or understanding.
Some clinicians highlighted the lack of trust and confidentiality which made them rather sceptical that things wouldn’t change in the future, therefore they avoided CS. Other clinicians where unaware or that ‘reflective practice’ was a positive aspect and not a negative one where their work was securitized or critically picked apart, clinicians felt this was confronting, resulting in internal ‘bad feelings’ which presented another reason for disengagement in CS.
Since publishing the research the author was invited to update and review the Local Health District policy and procedures relating to CS to ensure they are in line with current best practice and make them accessible to clinicians to both enable and assist practitioners to find a supervisor if they choose to.
Finally it is worth noting that some practitioners are most resistant to change and may sabotage all efforts to engage either the team or self in CS, alas they“will have to bare their very soul “as no amount of support and education can move them forward.
By Martina Greenaway, District Clinical Nurse Consultant, Specialist – Drug and Alcohol Service