Mentor/Student Relationship

As a mentor we have a duty to facilitate learning and to both assess and support a student throughout their placement NMC (2008).
Qualities of a good mentor according to Quinn and Hughes (2007) are being an effective leader with good listening and communication skills. It is important to build an open honest relationship with your student to enable them to feel comfortable to express any concerns that they may have. One can look to Maslows hierarchy of needs to assist in the development of an effective working relationship helps to promote motivation
On arrival on the ward the student should be given a detailed orientation to the ward to and introduced to staff members and their roles and responsibilities. The orientation process   includes policies and procedures, function of the ward, emergency procedures and health and safety issues.This will help them to feel they are part of the team. The mentors role is to provide a safe supportive environment which recognises individual need (NMC 2008)
An initial interview should be scheduled within the first few days of placement and this can be used to set out expectations from both the student and the mentor and help the student to gain confidence in the learning opportunities available (Quinn 2007)
The RCN (2007) advocates the use of a student welcome pack which must be regularly reviewed to meet local and national changes to policy.
It is important to understand the students   current level of achievement (NMC 2008) to be able to set achievable learning objectives within their learning contract. This is achieved by evaluation of students skill book and assessments and evaluation by both student and mentor A VARK assessment is also undertaken to identify the students style of learning
The student is subject to both formative and summative assessment and it is essential that the mentor gives constructive objective feedback to promote improvement in practice
Selekman (2002)suggests weekly meetings should be arranged...