Nursing managers and supervisors, who will serve as mentors of a mentorship program for junior nurses, began a two- day coaching and mentoring training workshop, at the Public Service Training Centre (PSTC) in Roseau on Monday.
During the two days, the mentors will be equipped with the tools to assist in coaching and moulding junior nurses toward professionalism and competence during their first six months of nursing practice.
The nursing mentorship programme, a first for the Ministry of Health, is the brainchild of Principal Nursing Officer (PNO) at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), Caesarina Ferrol.
In addressing the opening ceremony, Ferrol stated the objectives of the mentorship programme.
“The main objectives of this programme are to develop supportive and encouraging relationships to assist nurses in their professional, personal and inter-personal growth, to promote mutuality based on the needs of colleagues, and to communicate information concerning expectations, learning opportunities and stressors,” she said.
Ferrol noted that some of the specific objectives of the programme will be “to provide holistic support and individualized guidance for selected nurses to support ongoing development and evaluation of junior nurses, to provide individualized counseling and support for new nurses, to facilitate quick adjustments to new roles and responsibilities and gaining self confidence”.
According to the Principal Nursing Officer, the mentorship programme will also seek to promote ownership among nurses for the professional improvement of the nursing service and to support the performance improvement activities for nurses who have not met requirements for the job during performance appraisal review.
The programme will also seek “to assist and support nurses who require individualized attention and to improve competence and customer relationship and nursing practice within the clinical setting,” she pointed out.
The nursing mentorship programme, to be implemented in phases will be institutionalized at the Princess Margaret Hospital and at various health districts.
Selected nurses will be assigned to train mentors over a six month period, during which there will be various planned activities, including an in-service education programme, and continuous monitoring and evaluation.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Nurse Helen Royer, also spoke at the opening ceremony. She said that efforts are being made by the Ministry to support, encourage and motivate new and inexperienced nurses in order to retain competent, productive and efficient nursing staff.
“Our vision at the Ministry of Health, is partnering for optimum health for all and we have realized, and are very much aware of the significant role that nurses play in making this a reality. Nurses are definitely the main contributors to delivery of health care in Dominica and the wider region,” she said.
“The Ministry of Health remains committed to providing quality health care for all those who utilize our health facilities and in order to achieve this, several initiatives have been implemented in ensuring improvement of the care we give to those that we are called to serve and it is commendable that this programme is finally launched,” Royer stated.
The workshop is being facilitated by Educator, Mrs. Lucina Lafond-Charles.
A similar coaching and mentoring training workshop has been planned for October 28 and 29, 2013.