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Mentorship Nursing Essay

2087 words - 9 pages

Introduction
This assignment is a reflective critical evaluation of key requirements for professional mentorship in practice. The author will demonstrate an understanding of the key theories underpinning facilitating learning that integrates students’ practical and academic experiences; identify, and show an understanding of the key positive and negative features of the authors learning environment and suggest improvements; and finally the author will critically analyse their professional accountability as a mentor and how that applies to practice and the student’s growth and development. Reflection of practice will be undertaken throughout the assignment to identify the author’s areas for ...view middle of the document...

The expectations of her as a professional member of the team were also discussed, as well as what she could expect from her mentor and the rest of the team. Once the learning objectives and how they would be met were agreed, an action plan was devised (Appendix one).

According to Artherton, (2009) a learning contract is an agreement between a teacher and a learner, to support this Richardson (1987) states the learning contract is a written agreement and must include what the learner will do to meet the intended learning outcomes. It could be argued that learning contracts facilitate self directed learning (Knowles, 1986). The author found this to be true whilst conducting the initial interview with Maddie, as ideas were given as to how she could meet her learning objectives and she was encouraged to take control and arrange some learning activities for herself, as suggested by Hand (2006). Learning contracts give the learning structure, and make clear to the student what is expected of them, in turn increasing the learner’s motivation and confidence, this argument is supported by a study undertaken by Chan and Wai-tong (2000) who found that when used learning contracts improved learning, giving the learner autonomy and increasing sharing between the learner and mentor. This is further supported by Lowey (1997) who states learning contracts can be an effective resource for students as well as new staff members. Before commencing the mentorship course the author did participate in teaching and spending time with students, however this learning was mostly unstructured and opportunistic. It is clear from the evidence and by conducting a learning contract with Maddie that they help to give the learning structure, and both learner and mentor are clear about what is expected. The author feels that the learning contract is an ideal tool for facilitating learning and combining the learners’ practical experiences and theoretical knowledge.
During the initial interview it is worthwhile to assess the students learning style and that of the mentor as every individual has their own preferred way of learning. Honey and Munford (1992) identified four key learning styles, based on Kolb’s work (1984); activist, reflector, theorist and pragmatist. In order to do this, the questionnaire by Honey and Mumford (1992) could be used. This helps to devise an appropriate teaching plan for the learner, if the mentor has a different learning style from the student they can adapt their teaching style to accommodate the student’s own learning style and avoid conflict in that area. Maddie carried out the questionnaire and her learning style was identified, which was different from her mentor. This knowledge allowed the mentor to know Maddie’s preferred learning styles and adapt her teaching styles accordingly to meet Maddie’s needs and prevent the mentors own learning styles from hindering Maddies learning.

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