Mentoring in times of change


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Abstract

ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to establish the barriers to nurses performing the mentor role in three critical care wards.BackgroundImminent changes affecting mentors to preregistration students in our wards and our awareness of their ill-preparedness prompted us to design interventions to prepare colleagues for the changes. Literature shows a range of perceived barriers to mentoring, we wanted to compare these to our colleagues' perceptionsDesignProspective, self-administered service evaluation questionnaire of a saturation sample of nurses in intensive care and high dependency wards.ResultsOf the 118 questionnaire proformas issued, 43 were returned (36%). Key results include: lack of time to perform the mentor role because of patient care workload, lack of opportunity to update knowledge and skills of mentoring and lack of familiarity with the programme of study and the documents used to record assessment of a student's proficiency.ConclusionsMentor update opportunities must be delivered alongside the competing demands of safe and effective patient care and the need to ensure the development of individuals as well as the profession as a whole through fostering its students.Relevance to practiceTo ensure future generations of patients enjoy quality critical care, we must invest time and resources in mentoring the nurses who will deliver critical care in the future.

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