Mentoring

  1. As a new year begins I am wondering if any of the experienced Staff Development Educators in this forum would consider mentoring a newbie.
    I have been trying to get on firm footing but seem to be standing in quicksand. I am trying to come up with ideas for interesting and fun ways to educate the staff that are not time-consuming.
    Also, working on how to award contact hours for educational offering. So how about it, anyone willing to help mentor into this role?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   llg
    What resources are you now using? Are you a member of NNSDO? Have you gone to the library and skimmed through a few years' worth of issues of their journal? (The Journal for Nurses in Staff Development). Which books are you using as resources for ideas? (There are a lot out there.) Have you gone to a good staff development confence?

    Perhaps if you give us an idea of things you have tried ... and let us know what resources you have already tapped ... and ask some specific questions ... a few of us could help you out.
  4. by   suni
    I am a member of NNSDo and did attend the convention , which was a great way to learn. I do have the Journals and am going thru them, I guess part of the problem is getting staff interested in learning. I have tried short case studies, ABG review and cardiac basic rhythm review.
    I did one inservice on the unit and got 4 people to attend...it was pretty sad.
    I currently would like to start hands on competency, we do one a month but usually just an article to read or something in Healthstream and I am a firm believer that hands on proves competency. Any help appreciated.
    I guess I am a little disillusioned that from where I sit now it seems like staff is not really motivated to learn new things...they just want me to tell them in 2 minutes or less what they need.
    I thought about posters , maybe some type of fun activity on the unit.
  5. by   llg
    I'm sorry you are feeling disillusioned. But realizing that most staff members are actually NOT going to invest a lot in their on-going education is a important thing to recognize. It may not be a pleasant realization, but it is a starting point.

    To start ... the first step is usually assessment:

    In your position, I would start by involving them in an assessment of their needs and preferences. Ask them (in 1 on 1 interviews if necessary), what topics are of interest to them, when is the best time for a class, and in what format do they prefer to receive information. You may not like all the answers you get to your assessment questions, but it will identify some places for you to begin to meet their needs -- and to please them by fulfilling some of their requests even if you think those requests are not their most important learning needs.

    As they see you listening to them and doing some of the things they ask you to do, they should start being a little more receptive to some of your ideas. "Sneak" some of the content you think they need into the learning programs that they have requested. Slowly, over time, you should see some improvement. If your programs meet their needs and preferences, they will begin to see you as someone with something worthwhile to offer -- and begin "meeting you halfway" in your efforts to educate them.

    It's a matter of marketing -- and building up a "customer base" of people who have learned the value of what you offer. You do that by giving them what THEY want at first ... before you try to give them what you think they need.

    llg
  6. by   suni
    You know I never thought of them as customer based but I guess in reality that is what they are, I am going to start to work on this and see how it goes. Thank you.
  7. by   llg
    Yes. It's kinds'a sad. Most of us go into leadership positions (education or management) thinking that we will be leading the staff by sharing our knowledge, giving directions, etc. It's a nice fantasy to think of having a staff that wants to be wonderful and do all the right things and that wants to do what you want them to do and that wants to earn your approval.

    It's sometimes a shock when you realize that in order to be successful, you have to SERVE the staff and earn their loyalty on an ongoing basis. It's a tough balance to maintain sometimes -- giving them enough of what they WANT so that they will accept some of what they DON'T WANT, but that you know they need.

    Keep us posted.
  8. by   tacopereira
    I am also new to the Staff Development role. I think that was great advice and I will also try it out. Getting staff to attend in-services is always a difficult chore. I've only been doing this for three months now. Still love it. I could also use any ideas that anyone out there has.
  9. by   NurseNora
    As a night shift nurse, I cannot stress enough the importance of scheduling things at convenient times for us. Just before or just after the shift is often helpful. Offer the same program a couple of times. No matter what time you schedule it, I'm probably not going to come to something while I'm working 6P-6A two (or more) days in a row. If you schedule it a couple of times I'll be more likely to be able to find a time when I can stay awake for it.

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