Nursing Experiencing Mentorship & Reflection of Practice

Through out the years the nursing profession has changed, through evidence based practice, and nursing research the profession has elevated. Nurses have the tremendous responsibility of human lives in their hands, and as such the demand for clinical competence is essential. Academic education is a part of the journey however, as nursing is a practical profession there is also need for assimilation between the theory learnt and the practical profession.
Mentorship provides the help for this assimilation, and therefore helps the student nurse to develop their clinical competence. Mentorship refers to a relationship between two individuals; one more experienced who is referred to as the mentor, who helps the other less experienced individual, referred to as the mentee. Mentors serve as a catalyst to transform as they instruct, council, guide and facilitate the development of another (1. Allen, 2006). The mentor-mentee relationship is one of guidance and understanding that leads to professional, as well as personal growth.Due to the nature of the nursing profession, nurses often times find themselves in ethical dilemmas. These situations have no clear right or wrong choice, and the nurse is guided by personal ethics and values.
The goal of mentoring in nursing is to help the student nurse along the difficult path of gaining experience, to become a knowledgeable, confident, self-actualized, member of the health care profession. Mentoring goes beyond teaching knowledge or skills, or the mere passing on of information; it is a complex nurturing, developing and empowering relationship, that requires mutual learning, sharing, and growing (1.Allen, 2006). Mentors provide the psychosocial support that can be pivotal to the future career of graduate nurses. Benefits of Mentoring The benefits of mentoring are tremendous to both the mentor and mentee. The graduate mentee nurse potentially gains; self-confidence and self esteem, career success and advancement, increased personal and professional satisfaction, and preparation for leadership roles (3. Bean, 2005).

The mentor potentially gains the personal satisfaction of helping an individual through the tumultuous novice period, and satisfaction in knowing that ultimately the profession has been strengthened.From the mentors point of view they can sharpen their skill and achieve a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction (1. Allen, 2006). As human beings intrinsically there is a need to help our fellow humans in times of turmoil and distress. To nurture those with less experience, knowing that the career and life of not only that individual; but the clients nursed by that individual, as well as future graduate nurses that individual may come in contact with through out his/her career, is in itself a reward.Knowledge and understanding are gifts that we can not quantify; their values are so great, and that is what a mentor gives. “It was through the efforts of my leader that I had the courage to report to work everyday.
In addition to being my manager, she served as my teacher and mentor. Education could not have prepared me for that horrific experience (2. Emerson 2005). ” The statement expressed the feelings of one graduate nurse, who through the efforts of her mentor was able to excel in the nursing career, and went on to become a successful leader.Mentoring is the linchpin of recruitment and retention where everyone is guaranteed to benefit (1. Allen, 2006). Mentoring is a cohesive source of support and stability that is imperative to the future of the nursing profession.
Mentorship has received a great deal of attention in nursing recently, much of it due to the increasing nursing shortage and the need to quickly assimilate new graduates into the fast pace of today’s health care environment (3. Bean, 2005). How I Would Like to be Mentored as I Start My Nursing Career As I approach the end of my studies, apprehension and doubt has already begun to set in.It is compounded by the lack of clinical experience, and the fact that we will be practicing in a foreign country, with alien cultures and customs. Effie Amerson’s article especially struck me because I have had recurring dreams about starting my career, and fumbling so momentously that I was instantly sent home for being incompetent. In one such dream, I am assisting a mentally ill patient to the rest room and become tangled in the intravenous line and rip it out.Like Effie I felt there was no way anyone in the noble profession could abide by such incompetence and clumsiness.
Inevitably we criticize ourselves the harshest, this can inspire us to either work harder or give up completely. I would like a mentor who is honest and has integrity; one who is patient and remembers what it is like to be where I am now. The benefit of learning from someone who has successfully walked in the same shoes can help in areas you may not even have realized you needed help.I would like the person to serve as a guide and support; willing to stand back enough to allow me to develop personally and professionally, but sensitive to where his/her input is needed. I would like a mentor who is not overly critical, but at the same time assertive enough to let me know when I could have done something better, or improve in some way. I want someone with whom I can develop a trusting relationship. Someone who I can depend on to give me accurate information, even if it means admitting they are unsure of the answer.
I would like a mentor who is stoic in times of confusion and emergencies, to establish an environment conducive to learning, and give me the courage to remain calm in the face of the impending storm. Overall I would like a mentor to help me achieve the knowledge and character required to attain my nursing career goals superlatively. How I Plan to Mentor the Junior Student From my readings I have tried to ascertain what would be demanded of a good mentor, and how this information could be applied to mentoring a practical nursing student.I was vacillating between hands on instructions about time management, which was a major problem for me; and dealing with the pressures of exams and feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information to be retained. Then I remember that a good mentor is not a parental substitute, in addition unique personalities’ manifest unique problems; therefore my mentee may not have the issues I had with time management or being overwhelmed with the information to be retained. I want to provide the benefit of the knowledge and experience I have gained, keeping in mind that different personalities make each situation different.I would try to maintain a positive outlook to offer encouragement.
I think the most important aspect would be offering encouragement; the course is a challenging one and requires perseverance to see it through. I would try to actively listen to what my mentee is saying so I can offer the best advice I can. I would offer constructive criticism if necessary, pointing out areas that needed improvement being careful to focus on the behavior not the character of the mentee.I would try to give insight about staying on track and setting goals and prioritizing. Overall I would try to offer the support and encouragement to learn and ultimately improve.References 1. Canadian Operating Room Nursing Journal, Mentoring The Magic Partnership, Shelia L.
Allen RN, BSN, CNOR, CRNFA, December 2006 2. Gastroenterology Nursing, The Inspiring Leader, Effie Amerson MSN, RN, 2005 3. Gastroenterology Nursing, Mentoring, Kathy B. Bean PhD, RN, CGRN, APRN, BC, Editor, 2005

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