Efficacy of clinical supervision: influence on job satisfaction, burnout and quality of care

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Abstract

Aim

This paper reports a study to determine how supervisees' backgrounds and surrounding infrastructure predict the efficacy of clinical supervision among Finnish nursing staff, their job satisfaction, levels of burnout and perceptions of the quality of care.

Background

Several studies have described the effects of clinical supervision, but few have focused on evaluating it. Until recently, no studies have examined how clinical supervision evaluations are related to supervisees' backgrounds, surrounding infrastructure or respondents' levels of burnout, job satisfaction and perceptions of the quality of care.

Methods

The survey involved supervisees completing a range of standardized and validated evaluation measures. The respondents were identified from 12 regional, central and university hospitals across Finland (n = 799). The data collection took place from October 2000 to February 2001.

Findings

The evaluations varied statistically significantly and were associated with statistically significant variations in the respondents' backgrounds. Clinical supervision infrastructure was also strongly related to evaluation scores. Supervisees' age, education, gender, employment status, area of specialty, working hours, work experience and experience as a supervisor were statistically significant predictors for evaluations of the efficacy of clinical supervision. These evaluations of clinical supervision were also found to predict the respondents' job satisfaction, levels of burnout and assessments of good nursing.

Conclusions

Nursing staff, especially those who have over 10 years' work experience, work in general care, have a nursing diploma, are non-tenured, work part-time and work 24-hour rotating shifts can benefit from clinical supervision. However, resources need to be invested in supervisor education and nursing staff need to be encouraged to start working in both supervisor and supervisee roles because of the positive effects on job satisfaction and quality of care.

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