CONSULTATION IS A CORE COMPETENCY OF GRADUATE NURSING Vicky Brown School: UCLA Consultation is a core competency of graduate nursing It is very common to hear therapists, nursing students, and some practitioners use the words consultation and supervision interchangeably. This has however been noted to be highly erroneous as the two are never the same. While studying to be a nurse and for that matter any professional health specialist, Shaver (2005) noted that the need to seek what others also have in the form of knowledge and opinions is very important if a person can be successful. This is because education is a continuous process and knowledge also does not dwell with only one person. It is based on this that consultation and supervision have both been considered very important in nursing training. Differencing between the two, Smith, Atherly, Kane amp. Pacala (2007) indicated that supervision is hierarchical while consultation is mutual. What this implies is that in terms of supervision, there is always someone of higher experience and competence who offers guidance to another person of lower pedigree of learning. Because of this, it is very common to realise supervision comes with compliance with directors that are given by the supervisor or person of higher learning, considered being an authority. Consultation has however been noted to be different because in consultation, there is mutual learning between people considered to be at par in terms of knowledge, experience and practice (Chauncey, 1995). In line with this, consultation is only considered to be a risk management tool which does not come with much obligation but based on professional judgment of the learner.Consultation and collaboration are two other terms that are also used interchangeably. Between collaboration and consultation on one side and consultation and supervision on another side, Brykczynski (2009) noted that consultation and collaboration are more synonymous than consultation and supervision. This is because in both consultation and collaboration, there is high level of personalized cooperation than the type of compliance that is experienced with supervision. In effect, both consultation and collaboration can be said to take place among people with relatively same level of experience, competence and knowledge. It would therefore be right to argue that both consultation and collaboration is peer based rather than hierarchical. The similarities notwithstanding, consultation and collaboration must not be taken to be exactly the same thing. This is because in consultation, there is often a rationale for one person to seek part of what another person has. But in collaboration, both parties put their efforts together to exchange knowledge and ideas. The two are however considered synonymous as they are both part of a learning process among two learners. The two are also based on corporative exchanges without one person being considered as an expert.Practicing of consultation competency in the author’s current role area is something that is very common. Consultation takes place among colleagues on a very period basis and largely when there is a new challenge that comes up with both the theory and field practice. From every indication, it can be said that the consultation competency that is currently practiced is one that follows the competency criteria. This is because the competency practiced is follows two major routes, all of which can be said to be part of the accepted criteria known in the field of nursing. In the first route, there is the use of an assessment centre or college. To do this, the guideline for practice within the assessment centre or college are adopted and enforced among the people undertaking the consultation. This makes it possible to be engaged in such criteria as peer reviewing and group learning. The second route has to do with the use of experienced workers who are tasked not to supervise but to oversee that nursing students actually go through consultation. This means that the criteria of monitoring and evaluation are also followed to the letter. Meanwhile Smith et al (2007) noted that monitoring and evaluation are crucial for any successful consultation task.ReferencesBrykczynski, K.A. (2009). An interpretive study describing the clinical judgment of nurse practitioners. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An Interpretive Journal, 32(3), 113-120.Chauncey, Jr., H. (1995). A calm before the storm? Yale Magazine, 58(7), 30-31.Shaver, J. F. (2005). A biopsychosocial view of human health. Nursing Outlook, 33(4), 186-191.Smith, M. A., Atherly, A. J., Kane, R. L., amp. Pacala, J. T. (2007). Peer review of the quality of care. Reliability and sources of variability for outcome and process assessments. JAMA, 328(19), 1573-8.