Building Bridges: A Mentor Education Program for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

Abstract

Mentoring in occupational therapy is a crucial role that many practitioners undertake and there is a paucity of mentor education specific to occupational therapists. Authors present an innovative approach to mentor education through a novel three-part online mentor training series. Developed by faculty teaching at Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) entry level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program, the series incorporated adult learning theory and the stages of mentoring through the lens of occupational therapy. The training series received positive feedback from participants, who found it straightforward, relevant, and applicable to their work settings. Literature emphasizes the increasing demand for quality mentors in occupational therapy as the field expands and the need for mentor education to support professional development. Although there is limited literature on mentor support in occupational therapy, studies in related fields have highlighted the effectiveness of mentor training programs. Authors suggest that the establishment of a mentoring practice community can bridge OTD program expectations with clinical and community practice realities and build mentor capacities. Overall, this work emphasizes the significance of mentorship and the need for formal mentor education in occupational therapy to foster professional growth and ensure the availability of quality mentors for students and new professionals

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This paper was published in Eastern Kentucky University.

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