The aim of this study was to examine whether newly qualified healthcare staff can be supported in their journey to become a practitioner using an interprofessional framework to mentoring. The study involved the mentoring of\ud newly qualified doctors (pre-registration house officers - PRHOs) by senior nurses for the first six months of their clinical practice. The setting for this study were the wards within four NHS Trusts across the South West of\ud England where all the participating newly-qualified staff were practising. An ethnographic approach, which allows the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, was adopted for this study. Data collection involved predominately qualitative methods (one-on-one\ud interviews). Quantitative methods (questionnaires) were, however, also employed. The total number of participants in this study included 69 mentors (senior nurses), 64 mentees (PRHOs), four project leaders, four clinical tutors and three post-graduate managers, of which four clinical tutors, four project leaders, two postgraduate managers, 12 mentees and 12 mentors were interviewed. The objectives, pursuant to the aim, were to: • Examine the experiences of interprofessional mentoring for mentors, PRHOs and those involved in implementing the scheme; • Identify factors that support or hinder interprofessional mentoring among\ud nurses and doctors; • Identify any benefits for the learning path of nurses and doctors; • Explore perceived benefits for healthcare delivery. The mentoring period for this study was six months and data collection occurred at the beginning and at the end of this period. All those involved Interprofessional mentoring Abstract completed a pre- and post- questionnaire. Additionally, some of the mentors, junior doctors, clinical tutors and project leaders from each of the four participating Trusts were interviewed prior to the commencement of mentoring\ud and after six months. The data was thematically analysed using a personcentred approach. The findings from this study show that mentoring usmg an interprofessional method is a viable approach to supporting professionals,\ud particularly during the early stages of their professional lives and in the current health service climate. Interprofessional mentoring was perceived as a means\ud for supporting the personal and professional development of newcomers as well as the professional development of the mentors. Professionally it involved learning clinical skills through observation, increasing knowledge about the\ud roles and responsibilities of other professional groups and their contribution to healthcare, and developing working relationships with other professionals. In terms of personal development, it helped develop increased confidence and thereby an ability to cope with stress, enhanced interpersonal skills, and improved communication skills. These benefits ultimately influenced the care\ud received by patients, and provided improved staff job satisfaction and a more effective use of resources. The main recommendations for interprofessional mentoring and the\ud research process based on the findings of this study are as follows: • The use of various means, e.g., shared learning, should be employed in the preparation of students during their training for collaborative work • Training for medical staff should give attention to mentoring\ud • Interprofessional mentoring can be applied to any grade. For example, consultants or senior registrars can easily support the educational needs of senior nurses, such as nurse consultants or nurse practitioners, in the same\ud clinical speciality. • Clear guidelines for mentors, mentees and all hospital staff about the aims and objectives of interprofessional mentoring programmes.\ud • The process must receive the full support and backing of management and senior staff. Interprofessional mentoring Abstract• Time should be allocated for training mentors and for meetings between mentor and mentee. • The incorporation of interprofessional mentoring as one of the support\ud systems within the hospital would be advantageous. This would necessitate the inclusion of interprofessional mentoring in hospital policy. This study demonstrates that junior doctors can be mentored and receive support from senior nurses in the early days of their practice. Furthermore, this study provides an example of how interprofessional initiatives can be implemented on general acute wards
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