The Role of The Mentor
The word ‘midwife’ means ‘with woman’. Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy and birth, and the midwife's role is to look after a pregnant woman and her baby throughout the antenatal period, during labour and birth, and for up to 28 days after the baby has been born.
A midwife must be able to care for women throughout pregnancy, birth, and during the postnatal period, as well as care for newborn babies. She must be able to detect problems, summon medical help if needed, and be trained in emergency procedures. She also has a role in health education, antenatal classes and preparation for parenthood, a midwife also provides teaching and assessments of student midwives. “Mentors play a critical role in preparing the next generation of midwives for safe and competent practice” (Lawson L, Bunyan C, 2013). The Oxford English dictionary definition of a mentor is ‘an experienced and trusted adviser’. For student midwives, being mentored is an important element of preparing for life as a qualified professional. Mentoring students within a healthcare setting is considered to be fundamental in their development and education. The purpose is to achieve a fit-for-practice and fit-for-purpose workforce with practice experience comprising one of the most important aspects in preparing students for registered status with a professional body, such as the NMC.
Mentors play a crucial part in facilitating teaching, learning and assessment in practice placements. In addition, the mentoring role includes other important functions, such as being a role model and giving constructive and developmental feedback to prepare the student for future placements. A stage one mentor is an NMC-registered midwife or nurse, who is being introduced to the responsibilities of being a mentor (Kinnell and Hughes, 2010). All stage one mentors must meet the requirement of The Code: standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives which states...
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