Vicki Robinson, Children's Community Sister at Longsight Health Centre in Manchester has been a community sister for 14 years , and took part in the revalidation pilots in Spring 2015. Here she talks about her experiences and offers her advice to nursing staff applying for revalidation for the first time in 2016.
“The revalidation process took me around six hours. There has never really been a formal process like this before. There was PREP but no-one looked at that, so now if I do something, I make sure that I record it in a file. It is similar to the appraisal system, but more structured.
“My confirmer was my line manager. This felt comfortable as she had done my appraisal and knows me well.
“I don’t think that I was too worried about the actual revalidation process, it is stuff that you have done, you don’t need to do extra stuff, it is already there, and it is just about putting it all together. The CPD (continuing professional development) hours are easily filled, and I had just done my prescribing course so this helped.
“With the reflections, I thought at first that it was a case of writing something down for the sake of it but afterwards I was able to see a clear theme – my lack of confidence. I became more aware of my self-confidence issues.
“With the feedback section, I was concerned that it would be a bigger process than it was, and would have to give a family a questionnaire or something but it was not that and in reality you get feedback from family members all the time. I used a variety of feedback, some structured leadership programme feedback from 5 colleagues and also some feedback from a HCA about my communication with her. I think I will now find it easier to look back and record feedback.
“Looking at the feedback and the reflections together has helped with my work. The feedback makes you think, you are doing a good job, and you don’t always stop to think about that. I enjoyed thinking about the feedback and wrote mini-reflections on these. I cross-referenced my reflections to the Code.
“When I have done an appraisal, I have never been asked to provide feedback and revalidation makes you provide specific things.
“Before the Trust workshops to prepare for revalidation, I think I would have provided positive feedback examples but after them, I realised it was of more benefit to me to give a variety, so I used positive and negative.
“The workshop also gave an explanation of how to do the paperwork, and examples of CPD. It was really helpful because there were a variety of different people there, asking various questions that as an individual you may not have thought of. Without the workshop it would have been a very different experience, you would need time for someone to explain it all to you.
"Revalidation has made a difference to me, the gathering of information and then the effect it has on my behaviour and belief in myself. It has improved my belief in myself and also shown me that I do have an issue with self-confidence. It has revealed that I am a perfectionist.”