Mentorship in Nursing

4737 Words Jun 22nd, 2013 19 Pages
Mentoring has been established in a variety of fields for many years. Within nursing, the term ‘mentor’ denotes “A nurse, midwife or specialist community public health nurse who facilitates learning and supervises and assesses students in a practice setting”, (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 2005). The essay will explore the role of the mentor in the field of nursing, with personal reflection on the authors experience as a mentor in my current role as a community mental health nurse (CMHN). The mentor-mentee learning relationship will be explored and the application of teaching and learning strategies will be examined.

The essay will also discuss the responsibility of the mentor in relation to self, others and the professional
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The setting where learning is valued would be one where the mentor has a manageable workload and is supported by their manager in planning time to teach and assess others as part of their role (Eaton 1999). Unfortunately, personal experience does not mirror theoretical guidelines as in practice; nurses are frequently expected to manage a caseload at full capacity in addition to carrying out mentorship responsibilities. Research would suggest that this issue is not unique to the practice area (Allen and Simpson 2000). Arguably this matter is one that should be negotiated between mentors and managers in order that the mentor and student feel valued and encouraged to engage in the process.

The physical environment where teaching and learning takes place in the placement area can be varied and consequently somewhat difficult to manipulate in order to achieve the best results. It is frequently in a client’s home or in the car in between domiciliary visits, but can also be at the hospital where outpatient reviews take place or even out in the community, in a local cafeteria or leisure centre. Within this area, learning opportunities are not always as easily organised due to the constant change in the physical environment.

It is also regarded as important that the placement areas have adequate resources to enhance knowledge attainment. Ely and Lear (2003) advocate that

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