Students and newly graduated and recruited medical professionals need to value the importance of the presence and role of the mentor in their first period of their new career for well being and learning potential. Mentoring is intentional formal or informal relationship with the purpose of encouraging, supporting and guiding the learners in their positions so that they will continue to grow personally and professionally. Mentoring has been defined as a relationship whereby a more senior, experienced individual is committed to providing developmental assistance and guidance to a less experienced protégé (Parise, 2008).
Some mentors are volunteering for this post, but some institutions choose the mentors according to specific criteria, which is usually set by a committee within the institution. Some of the common criteria are the years of experience, qualifications, annual appraisal and interest and participation in the continuing educational activities. Although institutions has formal mentorship programs where a mentor will be assigned for the student prior to the joining to work place, there can be informal mentoring. Students sometimes choose the mentor that they find to match their personality to be able to build the required professional relationship that will help them achieve their objectives.
There are many different responsibilities of the mentors. Those are categorized in two categories; psychosocial and career functions. Within the psychosocial functions, the mentors are required to offer support, counseling, friendship and tolerance. They also should act as role models for their mentees and help them socialize to the working place and environment. Under the career functions comes their duty of helping mentees grow professionally. Some of the responsibilities are teaching, coaching, provision of opportunities and defending their mentees. Mentors need to be caring, readily available, supportive, sensitive and giving (Sawatzky, 2009).
Mentoring relationships vary in length according to the goals and required tasks to be accomplished. Some of them may extend, as both may become colleagues at the same working place.
Mentoring has many advantages for the mentees and for the mentor as well. For the mentors, it helps them refresh their knowledge, increase their experience and build their skills of communication, leadership and problem solving. It gives them strength and feeling of accomplishment when they see their mentees successful in their career. It also adds to their professional portfolio, which opens other opportunities for them such as allowances and promotions. Through mentoring, mentees find the proper guidance and support from the beginning of their career life, which helps them better be able to plan and build their experience accordingly. Institutions may benefit of mentoring as well because it may enhance recruitment and retention of their staff (Sawatzky, 2009).
Both mentees and mentors should be trained on their obligations during this relationship. Mentors should be well trained to carry out their responsibilities as expected to the required level. Mentees need to be well prepared and explained about this type of relationship and its goals and regulations in order to achieve their set of goals (Beecroft, 2006).
The impact and consequences of poor mentorship can be serious and may affect the mentees career future and their acceptance of their profession.
In this paper I will be looking into mentoring and its benefits for both the mentor and the mentee, explore some of the barriers to effective mentoring and look into some possible ways that can be adopted to improve the mentorship.
I have read your summary on Mentoring. I appreciate what you plan to present and wanted to offer you as a resource a publication I have on this topic.
You can view it www.mededportal.org/publication/9844
Be sure to include aspects from the mentee’s point of view as well as what you started to describe as the mentor’s role.
All the best,
Beecroft, P. C., Santner, S., Lacy, M. L., Kunzman, L., & Dorey, F. (2006). New Graduate Nurses’ Perceptions of Mentoring: six‐year programme evaluation.Journal of Advanced Nursing, 55(6), 736-747.
Nettleton, P., & Bray, L. (2008). Current mentorship schemes might be doing our students a disservice. Nurse Education in Practice, 8(3), 205-212.
Parise, M. R., & Forret, M. L. (2008). Formal mentoring programs: The relationship of program design and support to mentors’ perceptions of benefits and costs. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 72(2), 225-240.
Sawatzky, J. A. V., & Enns, C. L. (2009). A mentoring needs assessment: Validating mentorship in nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing,25(3), 145-150.
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