Mentoring Relationships: An Analysis

Mentoring is defined as a form of teaching where one guides without leading and basically teaches by example. In essence, it’s about helping to learn how to achieve something. Mentoring can be applied to a variety of fields and specialties, including business, the academe, healthcare, and government. For this case study, the focal point of interest as to learning experiences in mentoring will be Dr. Rachel Lindsay.
It can be said that Dr. Lindsay has had many different types of mentoring relationships in the course of her professional career. Currently a professor of nursing, her original intent was to be a physician. However, her first mentor became responsible for altering this course of action. This mentor is none other than her own mother, who happened to be a nurse as well. The influence her mother had played a large role in her decision to become a nurse instead, after seeing the work her mother did and eventually becoming comfortable with it.
The next major mentoring relationship she had afterwards was when she became a nurse consultant to a dentist who worked with chronically ill people. Her work with the dentist allowed her to gain an intimate perspective of the lives of the chronically ill and affected. Subconsciously, her experiences laid the foundation for her even deeper concern for the welfare of others, especially after being party to the various sufferings and vulnerabilities of the patients who came while she was under the tutelage of the dentist.

However, while her experiences thus far with the mentoring process had been successful and beneficial towards her overall development as an individual, there were also times when the system let her down. When given the task of having to deliver a course for nurses who work in nursing homes, Dr. Lindsay immediately discovered a problem with the course in question. Hoping to rectify the situation, she approached her dean, whom she looked up to, in the hopes of him becoming her mentor and help her revise the course to make it a better one.
Unfortunately, the dean did not honor this request and only disappointed her. This became her first experience at being let down by a possible mentor in her life. This was further proven when she discussed her career plans, only to find that he was against nurses with advanced degrees. Disillusioned, Dr. Lindsay turned to a nurse practitioner only to be disappointed again; her new mentor only seemed content with discussing procedural knowledge but not abstract changes.
These happenings turned out to be for the better however because it signaled her return to the hospital setting, where she would later handle staff development classes and meet another mentor in her life, Bob the HR director. Under him, she learned many new things, not just about the profession itself, but with dealing with others and outside pressures as well. It would not be long before she became satisfied enough to move on to another job.
Dr. Lindsay eventually ended up in the academe, where another mentor emerged in the form of her division chair. Just like her other mentors, this one did not seem threatened or impressed that much with her degrees or experience, thus their working relationship became very good indeed. This relationship would soon be tested because of a case of plagiarism of one of Dr. Lindsay’s students, and it can be said that neither Dr. Lindsay nor the subject chair in question saw eye to eye on how best to treat the student.
In summary, after all her experiences with different mentors, Dr. Lindsay’s mentoring tool kit should include the knowledge she has gained through her many years in formal education, plus the knowledge she gained through her various experiences. This, combined with the many years she spent under various mentors will help her to become the most effective mentor possible.
Gibson, S. K. (2004). Being mentored: The experience of women faculty. Journal of Career
Development, 30(3), 173-188.
Stewart, B., & Krueger, L. (1996). An evolutionary concept analysis of mentoring in nursing.
Journal of Professional Nursing, 12, 311-321.
Veenman, S., & Denessen, E. (2001). The coaching of teachers: Results of five training
studies. Educational Research and Eva

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