Supporting and supervising district nurse students through patchwork text writing.
ABSTRACT This article reports research and supervision practice experiences of teachers on a community nursing module, assessed by a patchwork text. The nature, relevance and characteristics of support and supervision involve judging use and relevance of story, personal memory and imagery as means of illustrating creativity and self-evaluative questioning interlinked with empirical evidence, research and policy discourses. All of these diverse elements require synthesis by practitioners if they are to demonstrate essential skills of community working, including responding to situational challenges, unpredictability and use of evidence in context. Supervision is characterised less by information provision and more by assisting students to understand connections and significance with the reflective diary assuming a crucial role in helping students appreciate personal and aesthetic dimensions. Challenges for supervisors include allowing students freedom to write in imaginative ways bounded by indexes of quality; and to act as role models, making explicit their own reflecting, open mindedness, connecting and synthesising. Use of an extended epistemology has helped supervisors appraise and value; balancing advice and direction with facilitation; diversity and homogeneity; parts and whole, expression, style and overall coherence. Finally, limitations and negative resource implications are identified and considered.