Challenges Facing a Mentor

Mentoring is fundamentally a two-way relationship. A mentor has a critical role to facilitate the development of future clinical practice of a pre registration student. Students have   an obligation to utilise any opportunities and learning strategies from each clinical placement. Mentorship enables the students to apply their theoretical knowledge and put it into practice in a supervised clinical situation. A mentor is an experienced nurse with additional training who acts as an advisor and teacher in the clinical setting.
In this essay the focus will be on the challenges facing a mentor when supporting an underperforming or failing student and strategies to overcome them. Also ‘how’ a mentor plays a significant role in a student’s learning process. According to the NMC, Code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives (2008), it is the duty of the practitioners to enable students to develop their competence. The Nursing and midwifery council (NMC) has set eight domains to emphasize the responsibilities and accountabilities for a mentor, these includes creating a good environment for   learning activities in clinical practice by acting as a facilitator, assessor   and finally as a ‘gate keeper’ in taking decision about the achievement of proficiency at the end of the programme (NMC ,2008). However, there are some challenges which you could face and must learn to overcome in the process of mentorship.
A study was conducted by one education institution in south east England and based on the new standards introduced by the NMC (Ven Veermah 2012): The aim of this study was to identify the challenges faced by a sample of 346 mentors who had completed the programme and to work out ways to support them. A considerable number of mentors who took part in this study highlighted an increased workload and lack of time as major constraints. Other challenges are inadequate preparation for the role and being overloaded by responsibilities. Ven Veeramah...