What is the current state of mentorship and interprofessional collaboration at your organization in a clinical setting?
Most people agree that proper mentorship can make all the difference in the successful career of any healthcare professional. At our organization new nursing and nurse practitioner employees currently have a month-long orientation. However, we do not have a formal mentorship program. Our employees talk about the need for such a program and agree that they would greatly benefit from mentorship to help with managing ongoing patient symptoms, patient-family communications, advanced care planning, collaboration with other healthcare professionals and support services, as well as medical crisis prevention and urgent response guidance. The solution would be to incorporate a mentorship program, allow for allotted time, for example one hour per week to meet one on one with assigned mentor and compensate mentors for doing the extra work. Unfortunately, we currently do not have a formal mentorship program and there is a high turnover at our company. With many healthcare professionals leaving their jobs within a year or two how can we address this problem? What can be done to improve the high turnover? How can we encourage experienced staff to mentor the new employees via a mentorship program? How can we encourage management to sponsor a formal mentorship program which would ensure high-quality, cost-effective care with optimal outcomes and improved patient and employee satisfaction?
In addition, our DNP prepared nurses often work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals including social workers, administrative staff, doctors, nurses, and assistants. All employees bring different skill sets, levels of experience, and education to the table. All in all, DNP prepared nurses are at the forefront of demystifying complex health care systems to promote optimal patient outcomes. At our organization we collaborate with primary care providers and specialists to provide holistic care to our patients. Currently, we often experience challenges in interprofessional collaboration. For example, social workers do not fully understand the basic information about medical diagnoses of our patients, who are faced with symptoms of CHF, COPD, Cancer, Dementia, CVA, ESLD, ESRD, Parkinson’s, CKD, DM, HTN, DVT, PE, depression, anxiety, pain management, infections, wounds, falls, etc. As a result, it is often difficult for social workers to effectively communicate with family members to assist with patient care needs and to obtain needed services. One solution would be to incorporate comprehensive educational sessions for social workers, which would familiarize social workers with some of the basic medical information needed to assist patients. On a weekly or monthly basis DNP educated nurses could conduct Inservice sessions to assist in educating social workers in order to improve their understanding of the difference in patient needs depending on patients’ diagnoses. Perhaps there are other solutions already available, such as trainings and online classes that could be taken by social workers independently. How can we help our social workers to better work side-by-side with nurses and doctors while conducting independent work and at the same time working as a team? Are there any other suggestions? Thank you for any help and suggestions you may offer.