Not a good mentor

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    So I am supposed to be mentoring new staff and I am just not good at it. They ask questions and I get tongue tied. I try to explain things and I just get muddled myself.

    I am thinking of asking my manager to not give me anyone else to mentor. I am just not good at it and it's not fair to them, they are learning nothing with me at all. Yesterday I felt like I was being really rude to somebody because I basically had him following me I was doing stuff and he was just watching and I didn't even know where to start with explaining anything.

    We don't have CNA classes here, so we have to basically start from the very beginning with how to make beds and do vital signs and stuff.

    Do you think my manager will just think I am trying to get out of it? I am worried she will think I don't want to do it, but the truth is I am really struggling and dreading going in to work at the moment. Maybe I should talk to her before one of the new hires complains about me?
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Go to your manager and ask for an outline of what they want you to be orienting your new hires to know. Explain that you are feeling a little (or a lot) unsure of exactly what they want you to cover and don't want to forget anything. Make it about doing a better job for them and not about you. I know I put new hires with the person I think is the best example of what I want them to do so you must be doing your job well because they keep giving you people to mentor. I am assuming that these people have passed the CNA (STNA) test and are just being oriented to your facility. Are you in an ALF or a SNF? If these people are not already state certified or tested, then just do your best to be a good example and explain the whats and hows for now and worry about the whys of doing things later. Hope this makes sense and is of some help to you.
  5. 0
    Whenever im doing someones orientation I never assume they already know how to do something, or even that they fully understood what I was teaching them until they demonstrate it to me. This works a lot better than just asking them, and once they know they are going to have to demonstrate it after I show them they pay a lot more attention and ask more questions. This is something I learned in the military, where skills had to be taught quickly and thoroughly to people of varying levels of intelligence. It also helps to make sure the person feels comfortable and doesnt feel a lot of pressure not to make mistakes or look dumb, which is something I definitely did NOT learn in the military.

    I also think people learn a lot better by DOING than by observing. I can show someone how to tie restraints ten times in a row and they might not get it, but have them try it themselves after the first time, watch them screw it up, then show them again and it usually takes less time. If a person constantly seems to pick things up quickly, then I might not take as much time, but I usually try to error on the side of showing too much. Of course all this assumes the person Im teaching wants to learn and pays attention. If they act bored or have a know it all attitude I wont be so thorough.

    Hopefully you are getting paid to teach and its not just something they lumped in on top of all your other duties(which is usually how it is).
  6. 0
    Something I do with my students and the people I'm orientating is "Watch one, do one, teach one". This was taught to me by my preceptor years and years ago when I first started as an AIN (Australian version of a CNA). This meant that I show them how to do it and explain what's being done as I go, I then get them to do it on their own as much as possible then I get them to try and teach me how to do it as if I'm brand new with no experience whatsoever. I also tell them there's no such thing as a stupid question and ask them to explain back to me what I've just said in their own words. I will also make mistakes deliberately and see if they pick me up on them or just follow what I'm doing.
  7. 0
    Thank you for your replies. I will see how tomorrow goes
    And no, no extra pay!