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How to Choose the Best Mentor for Hospital Shadowing Experience? Part I

Written by Czech Hospital Placements on Friday, October 14, 2016

How to choose the best mentor, best mentor for your shadowing, what to know beofre you decide, CHP Program, #whocanbeyourmentor

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” said once Benjamin Franklin. The benefits of shadowing and seeing the job reality of any profession for yourself are enormous. But how to choose the most important person - your mentor? Your mentor is an extremely important person for your career path´s start. It does truly matter who will become your mentor, since he or she can influence your views on the job you´d like to do one day yourself. Believe or not, this first impression highly affects your future. The 3 key points are: Professionalism, honesty and mentoring skills...

What qualities should you look for once seearching for your ideal mentor and the best clinical experience? Let´s begin with the list.

1. Professionalism and qualification

Your mentors should be able to answer questions about their specialty and about the healthcare system challenges to provide you with the facts, figures and context of the professional situation alongside of the shadowing. Try to find out ahead what education and experience your mentor has. If you can´t reach any information prior to your experience by the provider of the hospital shadowing, try to look up online on social networks and blogs to find out more about the personality and opinions of your mentor to be.

Once you already shadow a doctor, nurse, physical therapist, paramedic, dentist or another haalthcare professionals, don´t hesitate to discuss with them ethical questions of the healthcare professions. It will help you to understand that people working in the same profession can have multiple views and opinions on the same problem. Another important aspect to focus on when choosing a mentor, is the way how he or she treats another colleagues and what´s more, how he or she treats the patients. An open minded person will be willing to share with you more experience and will inspire you to become not only the better professional, but also a better person. This tells you a lot about the motivation of the person about why he or she actually does the profession....

Witnessing the professional´s approach towards patients can help you to realize how important this job is and how you can improve another people’s lives. The doctors´ and nurses´ behavior is an evergreen topic for the patients since that can be related to their health condition. Learn from someone who excels in it. 

What type of overview is ideal to have about your mentor prior to your hospital work experience? See bellow:
Doctor Tereza Luzna from Emergency Department for Adults in the University Hospital in Motol clearly tells her students, what is her motivation, why is she passionate about her job and mainly what can you see by shadowing her. See the complete profle of your potential mentor and her colleagues. Make sure you get these information ahead as there is no one more important to you in your clinical experience than your mentor.

2. Age matters, but....

Your mentors should be experienced, that´s clear. But it doesn´t mean that you have nothing to learn from a younger professional. It depends on his or her honest interest in the specialty.If one is eager to explore as much as possible about the job, he or she could be the right person to guide you. Your mentors can also tell you about the mistakes they made on their career path and what you should do to avoid making them. This can pertain not only to their time as a professional, but also during the studies.

By working with a young professional, you can see the steps they took on their way, from being a pre-med through making degree examination, to choosing their specialty and so on. You can witness how he or she treats their more experienced colleagues. The mentor is there to help the future generation of new colleagues – this should be their primary reason for working with you. Feel free to ask your mentor for useful tips and advice he or she can give you. 

Another quality which is independent on age is, that your mentor should be up to date. Does he or she follow the trends in the healthcare industry? What about the publication of new articles, taking part in the current research or taking part in teaching at the university? If you have chosen a study program abroad you pay for, do you have all this information about your mentor ahead? Because you should…

Do you already know all you want to about who can be your mentor? In the upcoming week we will bring you the second part of the article. Make sure you read the #CHPBlog to gain a complete overview of mentor´s qualities we recommend to check. If you consider joining the other students from around the globe and choosing the placement with the CHP Program, check the profiles of all our mentors, to get known more about their career path and experience. With us you know in advance who will be your influencer in the specialty you truly care for. See you next week smile.


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