Getting it right from the word go; Maximizing on your mentor/supervisor resourcefulness

Quality mentorship and supervision is a key factor in maximizing the educational value of learning. As one sets off for the placement getting it right to utilize and maintain the engagement with the mentors must be your ultimate priority.

Maximizing on the supervisor’s resourcefulness requires both an open approach to seeking to learn, seeking to be involved and seeking to achieve your objectives. The mentors have a primary role in patient care and since this care creates an opportunity for students to learn it’s crucial to observe the following key practices to maximize on the experience:

  • Be proactive in seeking out experiences for your level of practice and competence with the support of your mentor
  • Demonstrate a willingness to work as part of the team in the delivery of safe patient care
  • Learn to express your needs and adopt a questioning, reflective approach to your learning within the multidisciplinary team
  • Seek help from appropriate individuals, head of hospital units or your placement provider if the mentor relationship is not working, to enable the achievement of the learning outcomes
  • Ensure that clinical skills required at each stage in the program are attempted under the supervision of a skilled practitioner, be open to being guided to perform the activities as this grows your confidence.  
  • Utilize learning opportunities outside the practice placements and, where possible, work with specialist practitioners
  • Identify the role of professionals within other contexts of the organization or community which includes how each cadre of professionals link up together to deliver the complete care.
  • Evaluate your progress to increase self-awareness, confidence, and competence. This could be a daily activity or a weekly activity which can be done through the maintaining of a reflective journal.

Mentorship and supervision is as important at the clinical placement itself, the ability to make good use of it creates a learning value and great satisfaction with the rotation. Communication of expectations and the feedback on the progress of meeting the objectives is key to maximizing on the use of the mentors.

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