Of the many programs that have been introduced and integrated in the healthcare practice, mentoring has been one of the most misunderstood and under-utilized. This is unfortunate, considering that healthcare is a sector in many areas of business that has seen an upward growth. Without mentoring, many of the practices and important methods and procedures involved in healthcare may not be maximized at all.
According to registered nurse and author Zardoya Eagles, a mentor can help a healthcare provider prepare himself for public service. A mentor can also help someone in the advancement of his/her career. The human factor, according to Eagles, is one of the best reasons why mentoring should take on more significance in many of today’s healthcare settings.
The results of a well-implemented mentoring practice may be difficult to quantify but it is by no means a less important undertaking. It is an acknowledged process that helps improve the processes within an organization and actually leads staff to achieve better results for their efforts, particularly in today’s knowledge-based institutions.
There are several advantages to ensuring that mentoring resources are provided in healthcare sectors. These include:
– The opportunity for departments within organizations to check flaws in their practices and to improve their services significantly.
– Provide a way for newbies in the industry to develop the necessary skills to work and thrive in the healthcare environment more quickly and efficiently.
– Provide the means with which future leaders within the organization are spotted and developed. Mentors within the organization can also develop their own skills and become highly valued employees.
– Provide a means for the organization to offer a nurturing form of practice to its staff and employees.
– The opportunity to achieve compliance in the industry through the improvement of services.
– Improve the management of hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions.
– Develop staff and employee and increase intellectual capital.
Having mentoring practices in place is also an excellent recruitment tool for healthcare institutions and a way to increase positive feedback. It is also a way for institutions to share their knowledge and other important information to help other hospitals improve their own practices and services. Mentoring is also an excellent means to keep updated about the latest practices and developments in the healthcare sector.
Mentoring may seem like a set of procedures that are simple to implement but it is in fact, a process that might be problematic and counter-productive if not used properly. Some of the most important considerations when implementing mentoring for any organization include:
1) Proper understanding of the goals of the organization, its resources, facilities and manpower.
2) Proper understanding of the interests, goals, expectations and values of the staff.
3) Proper knowledge in the implementation of mentoring activities and procedures that will fit the needs of the organizations and those of the staff concerned.
4) Adequate information about the most successful techniques and methods in mentoring that will help an organization meet its goals.
5) Sufficient knowledge in matching mentors and mentees in order to take advantage of the perfect mentoring relationship.
Already, the advantages of providing mentoring resources for many members of the healthcare profession have made the practice essential to many of the hospitals in the U.S. The Campaign Mentor Hospitals, for example, is a network of medical institutions small and large, urban and rural that operates throughout the country providing mentoring support in healthcare. Many of these organizations are high-achieving institutions that offer some of the most useful insights that other organizations can integrate into their practices.
Today, mentoring in healthcare continues to expand, undertaken by numerous groups of hospitals throughout the country in order to provide a more effective means to care for and assist clients, develop staff knowledge and skills and improve the practice of healthcare.