12 pages/≈3300 words
Health, Medicine, Nursing
Discuss Ways a Mentor Can Improve the Performance of Underperforming Students (Coursework Sample)
Mentoring can be defined as a collaborative learning relationship between two individuals with mutual goals and shared responsibility for the success of the whole process (Gray, 2014, p. 577). In mentorship, the mentor acts as the guide to the newly recruited and less experienced individual, the mentee. In nursing, newly graduated nursing students are attached to professional nurses to mentor them. This placement provides the students with an opportunity to learn new skills that they may not have covered in class work. It also helps the mentees to learn the skills required for the new position and develop in the role Gray, 2014, p. 577) . For the 5 weeks placement, mentoring may be more than orientation or preceptorship.
Most students of nursing achieve their required competencies in practice, however, in some instances; a few students have had weak performance. Such students have had trouble in meeting the required standards. There have been situations where mentors fail to fail the underperforming students attached to them. Several studies conducted on this topic revealed that most mentors are not confident in managing studentsâ€™ performance and therefore are reluctant on failing the underperforming students. The studies also show the need for mentors to provide full support and opportunities as required for the students to improve the placement outcome.
To help mentors bring the best outcome out the studentsâ€™ placement, this essay focuses on how mentors can design learning styles, teaching styles, and approaches to student assessment. In addition, it will also discuss the SWOT analysis of the learning environment and the SMART approach supporting of the underachieving students. The paper gives a recommendation on the design of learning and assessment strategies needed to support underperforming students and draws a conclusion on the topic.
Underperforming Students and the Roles of a Mentor
Underperforming students are students that are not able to perform the assigned duties as expected (Hand, 2006, p. 56). When students fail to show meet the set targets or key objectives of the placement programs, there professional development at risk . This is because they may fail the assessments as well as failing to show a required level of competence. Mentors are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that such students achieve better performance at the end of the program. Studies shows that mentors faces a great challenge of ensuring that underperforming students attain the required minimum score to be considered successful. As a result, some mentors fail to give the correct performance for the students and favor them to pass the placement assessments.
Characteristics of Underachieving Students.
Underperforming students tend to lack self-awareness. They have lack strong communication skills hence poor feedback response. Less motivation among underperforming students makes them have no passion for new knowledge. An observable character in underperforming students is their relation skills. They lack interpersonal skills, frequent issues of personal boundary with colleagues and lack of sensitivity to patients needs. Underperforming students will always try to dodge direct supervision from their mentors or members of staff by shifting their time of work. This is because they may not be confident with their understanding of theoretical knowledge learnt in class.
Mentors are medical practitioners that are assigned the duty of guiding the students alongside their normal duties (Andrews and Chilton, 2000, p. 562). The designated mentors work with the student on their clinical placement area to establish learning opportunities available for that placement. Mentors help the underperforming students to improve in their level of competence so to pass the placement requirements. Studies reveal that mentors fear failing the underperforming students attached to them. While the consequences of this act are considered detrimental to the nursing profession and the student life, much is still debated on the issue to help reduce the vice. It is important that mentors should clearly understand their qualities and roles before accepting the coach a student.
Qualities of a Good Mentor
While every nurse or medical practitioner would want to be a mentor, choosing a good mentor while matching them with the students may be difficult especially when allocating underperforming students. Determination of how knowledge and application of learning theories in the mentoring role can enhance student learning (Braungart and Braungar 2008, p. 40). Below are some of the qualities that should be considered while choosing a mentor for the underperforming students: Mentors are expected to have high personal attributes that will help in interaction with the students. There is need of high professional skills and abilities so to provide guidance with strong communication skills . In addition, they should be role models with supportive behavior and knowledge sharing ability.
Roles of a Mentor
While mentors are generally viewed as the point of contact between the student and the school administration during the placement program (Braungartand Braungar 2008, p. 40), there is much into a role that the mentor has to undertake to ensure a positive outcome is achieved out of a placement program. The roles of mentors include but not limited to identification and plan of placement activities for the mentees, come up with the assessment dates, carry out departmental induction. They also s keep the studentsâ€™ progress records, communicates the placement outcomes to the school administration and maintains personal contact to the mentees so to address any concern during the mentees placement (Andrews and Chilton, 2000, p. 562). While these roles require a mentor to work towards the improvement of a studentsâ€™ performance, mentors need to remain impartial to the students at all times so to obtain reliable information about the student.
Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence
Self-awareness helps in recognizing the effect of mindsets in learning. Self-awareness helps in modeling the inner signals and recognizing how their feelings affect the job performance. Setting a correct mindset for the placement program will help the mentors and mentees perform their roles effectively and respond to the placement requirements. Emotional intelligence also plays a great role in shaping the studentsâ€™ plans of action in response to situations they encounter in the working environment (Hand, 2006, p. 56). It forms the basis for self-awareness and management, integration of the professional skills to help achieve the desired outcomes.
Mentees often look forward to a wonderful experience in the learning din the placement program. To make this possible, they must learn to have lessons from the program and reflect on them. The relationship between the mentors and the mentees in this regard plays an important role in establishing contact between them. Mentors must display their professional expertise and skills in forging a good relationship with the students.
A learning style can be defined as the way in which a learner attempts to learn the underlying concepts or procedures (Reeve, 2005, P.176). A learning style includes approaches to learning, how to experience the learning process and ways to utilize information obtained. Placement programs require the effective learning process that will motivate the mentees and their mentors to make the passing of information possible. Effective means of communication, in this case, plays an important role in making the passing of expected outcomes, responsibilities, and challenges for the mentors and the mentees (Hand, 2006, p. 56) . In addition, learning styles should make the whole process understandable and essay to follow or implement.
Three major learning styles can be employed in the mentorship in nursing and clinical medicine. They include; visual learning that involves learning mainly through seeing, auditory learning involving through hearing, and kinesthetic style where learning takes place through practice /doing. In nursing, there is need to combine all the three learning styles to help the underachieving students, that is auditory, visual, and kinesthetic styles. Studies show that the combination of the three learning styles helps in accelerating learning in college curriculums and placement programs for various disciplines (Beavais et al. 2011, p. 401).
Different mentees have their own preference for the choice of l learning styles to be employed during the placement period. These choices may be influenced by tastes, mentality preparedness, as well as physical condition, in terms of sensory modalities. It is very important to understand the mentees so to identify and employ appropriate learning styles that will reflect the concepts learned in class through various teaching styles (Quinn and Hughes, 2007, P.499).
Placement programs in nursing require mentors to employ the use of kinesthetic learning styles to mentees. Underperforming students in this field will get an opportunity to tackle their challenges in the particular area of study. In addition, mentors are able to identify areas of the studentsâ€™ weaknesses. Most students will prefer kinesthetic approach since it gives them a chance to test the learned theories in class, which takes the visual and auditory approaches. The preferred learning styles of medical students in the present study were aural and reading/writing styles (Palmer et al. 2005, p. 276). Studies reveal that students prefer the use of different styles in their mentorship program, trying diff...
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