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Anyone for an e-Cuppa?

21 Jul 2016

Marcia, Katrina and Leanne shared an ‘e-cuppa’ on Skype celebrating 12 months with the CRANAplus LINKS mentoring program.

Mar­cia Hak­endorf, Pro­fes­sion­al Offi­cer at CRANAplus, shared an e‑cuppa’ on Skype with Kat­ri­na Rohrlach [e‑mentee] and Leanne McGill (e‑mentor) who were cel­e­brat­ing 12 months with the CRANAplus LINKS men­tor­ing program.

I was inter­est­ed to hear how the men­tor­ing got start­ed, what they had both learned, and how they have grown in both expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing and gain­ing for­mal knowl­edge through­out that time. 

Kat­ri­na had her first men­tor­ing ses­sion with Leanne while at home in the Barossa, then moved to Port Augus­ta to under­take her Tran­si­tion­al to Pro­fes­sion­al Prac­tice Pro­gram at Port Augus­ta Hos­pi­tal with Coun­try Health SA. Through­out the year she said she has felt encour­aged, sup­port­ed, and that it was great to have an out­side’ opin­ion affirm­ing that she was on the right track.

Kat­ri­na talked about how she set an agen­da for each meet­ing with a list of things to talk about. This evolv­ing process saw her move from tasks ori­en­tat­ed’ to a wholis­tic approach in patient care. One of the skills she learned from Leanne was the art of visu­al­i­sa­tion – to visu­alise the patient care need­ed before putting it into action to assist with pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of care.

Leanne also taught Kat­ri­na about the social deter­mi­nants of health by using an acronym – SHNAPEM which cov­ers lifestyle issues such as smok­ing, hous­ing and hygiene (per­son­al and envi­ron­men­tal), nutri­tion, alco­hol intake, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, emo­tion­al well­be­ing (along with edu­ca­tion), med­i­cines and med­ical checkups.

I real­ly enjoyed and ben­e­fit­ed from reflect­ing back on my own prac­tice and then analysing with Leanne dif­fer­ent case stud­ies. In par­tic­u­lar, using SHNAPEM enhanced my own learn­ing, made me con­sid­er dif­fer­ent fac­tors, and changed my approach to patient care. The men­tor­ing process has aid­ed in my devel­op­ing com­pe­ten­cy as a pro­fes­sion­al, as well as an under­stand­ing of how nurs­ing is not just a sci­ence but an art.’

As an e‑mentor, Leanne who cur­rent­ly works in Kather­ine Hos­pi­tal as a region­al and remote clin­i­cal edu­ca­tor for both her own busi­ness and also at Kather­ine Hos­pi­tal, said it has been a very reward­ing expe­ri­ence to see a new grad­u­ate RN grow to the point that she has become very clear about her future career.

Leanne has found the expe­ri­ence of being an e‑mentor while com­plet­ing her Mas­ter of Nurs­ing in Clin­i­cal Edu­ca­tion has helped her con­sol­i­date her own the­o­ret­i­cal learning.

She said this has been par­tic­u­lar­ly appar­ent in the e‑mentoring role and its use of par­tic­i­pa­to­ry action learn­ing and action research, which is a con­tem­po­rary method of shar­ing knowl­edge through dis­cus­sion, lis­ten­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion, reflec­tion and rela­tion­ship-build­ing with­in one’s pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ty (Zuber-Sker­ritt, 2015).

Leanne and Kat­ri­na both described the e‑mentoring as a 2‑way process, com­ment­ing on one par­tic­u­lar point dur­ing the 12 months when they were both work­ing in the Emer­gency Depart­ment of their respec­tive hos­pi­tals and were able to share sim­i­lar experiences.

Kat­ri­na has now start­ed post­grad­u­ate renal stud­ies and is work­ing in the Renal Satel­lite Unit at Port Augus­ta Hospital.

All the very best to you both with your con­tin­ued men­tor­ing for the next 12 months.


Zuber-Sker­ritt, O. (2015). Par­tic­i­pa­to­ry Action Learn­ing and Action Research (PALAR) for Com­mu­ni­ty Engage­ment: A The­o­ret­i­cal Frame­work. Edu­ca­tion­al Research for Social Change (ERSC), 4, 1, 5 – 25.