1. I would like all of your feedback on the subject of mentoring. Not just being mentored as a nurse, but any life experiences with mentoring. People who made a BIG difference in your life. People whom you personally shepherded through challenges/difficult life situations. I have a few questions:
    1) What is your definition of a mentor?
    2) In which situations would mentoring be of benefit?
    3) What are the characteristics/qualifications of a good mentor?
    4) Is it possible to be a mentor or receive mentoring in novel ways such as electronically (via emails) or even through reading a person's books, listening to tapes, etc (not much personal touch/feedback)?
    5) Were your experiences with mentoring positive or negative?
    6) Is mentoring a lost art in today's society?

    THANK YOU!!!!
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    About VickyRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,046; Likes: 6,493
    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds


  3. by   fergus51
    I had the most awesome mentor as a new grad. A mentor is someone who guides you in your growth and learning, not someone who hands you knowledge. I think mentors are beneficial to anyone going into an unfamiliar situation. A good mentor has a good sense of humour, a HUGE wealth of knowledge and experience, and the patience needed to deal with new people. I think it is entirely possible to be a mentor through email or letters or whatever, as long as there is some personalized attention, that's all that matters.

    My mentoring experience was very positive. It gave me a chance to see how things were done in the real world as opposed to school and gave my mentor a chance to play a role in my development as a nurse. I still keep in touch with her almost five years later. She is probably the person who has had the biggest impact on me as a nurse. She taught me to always ask if I don't know, to never lose my cool and to relax and enjoy my job. I think it is a los art today among nurses. Few at my hospital are at all interested in mentoring because they don't want to take the time. I think the time crunch is there in a lot of other professions as well, so we often don't mentor.
  4. by   live4today
    Great post topic, Healingtouch!

    My definition of a mentor is a person who takes responsibility willingly to help another person along life's pathway whether in a personal setting, or in a professional setting.

    Mentoring is a great benefit and comes in handy for me as a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a grandmother, a friend, and as a nurse.

    The characteristics/qualifications of a good mentor are: a) not being afraid to bare one's soul if by doing so, another person is helped from it, b) one who has patience to allow the one being mentored to grow in his/her own time according to what they are capable of absorbing at any given time [we don't all grow at the same rate], c) one who is comfortable being taught as well as being comfortable teaching what one is taught, d) a mentor is only as good as their best pupil, so those who mentor others should never feel as if they have "arrived" and can't continue to be mentored themselves, d) a really good mentor is loving, kind, gentle, meek, compassionate, and understanding, e) a mentor is not rude, arrogant, judgmental, but is capable of giving constructive criticism so as not to stop the one being mentored from learning and growing.

    Yes, it is possible to be a mentor and receive mentoring via emails received from one's favorite person, or from a stranger of strong and good character. One can also mentor or be mentored via listening to tapes by someone who has the ability to draw others to themselves with their caring and compassionate hearts.

    My experiences with mentors has been nothing but positive! I can't recall any negative experiences at all.

    Mentoring is not a lost art in today's society. I have mentors in my life today, and I am also a mentor to others today.

    Last edit by live4today on Mar 28, '02
  5. by   VickyRN
    Thank you Tracey and Renee for your kind and insightful replies. This really helps with some issues I am facing.