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To sum up

Supervision is a professional conversation that may take place informally over a snatched coffee break or during a quick chat in a colleagues’ office, or formally in designated teaching sessions/tutorials or team meetings. To maximise the chances of the supervision being helpful you should pay attention to the following points.

  • Be clear about the context of the supervision; who is asking for supervision and for what purpose?
  • Be clear about your role and the supervisee’s needs in terms of development and performance.
  • Think about what can realistically be achieved in the time available.
  • Be aware of issues of professional confidentiality, clinical governance and ethics.
  • Be thoughtful about power differences between you and the supervisee.
  • Know who you can go to to get supervision for yourself.
  • Supervision is a part of lifelong learning and does not stop when you finish being a student or trainee.
  • Good supervision can contribute to job satisfaction and reflective practice, and can improve patient care.


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