Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A Good Mentor

These people do actually exist. Although they are extremely thin on the ground. So qualities for a good mentor?

  • Accepting - stop trying to change the student's personality already
  • Open - please don't brush the student off, we are well aware that we are only in your life for a matter of weeks but your attitude will stay with us forever
  • Honest - tell us if we are crap, we NEED to know
  • Timely - this goes with honest, tell us NOW so it can be corrected
  • Good at your job - goes without saying that crap nurse = crap student (or similar, crap teacher = crap outcome)
  • Kind - we're not looking for flowers and chocolates but a pat on the back would be nice
See it's not that hard. Granted it's not always the mentor that turns out to be the one that supports you the most. Other random staff nurses, the boss, CSWs... they all kick ass.

Bad mentors are everywhere. You really have to ask yourself how have these people managed to forget what it was like to be a student in the first place? Even as a new staff nurse? Surely they can remember their first days on the wards... Apparently.
Must be like childbirth. Eventually the memory of the pain you suffered fades. If someday that happens to me promise that someone with offer up a metaphorical slap?

2 comments:

cb said...

I think some people see it as a bit of a power trip too. I've only mentored for post-qualification stuff and haven't been 'let loose' on students yet but for me, I'd think that honesty and openness are crucial - and as you say, creating an environment where a student is not afraid to admit that they don't know something - because that is one of the most dangerous things - and I've seen it in newly qualified staff - when someone thinks they'll get into trouble or be ridiculed if they don't know something and will try and fudge over.

WardBunny said...

"thinks they'll get into trouble or be ridiculed if they don't know something"
Been there, done that, looked like an idiot. I know better now shame I had to do it in the first place though.
Oh it is one heck of a power trip...

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