In early 2016 the successful CRANAplus Remote and Rural Mentoring Program was re-named:
LINKS Mentoring Program
for all remote and rural health professionals
Spelt out individually, the words reflect what a mentoring program is all about and the word itself reflects that connection.
If we can commit to freely giving and receiving wisdom and knowledge, we will be an unstoppable positive influence, promoting quality healthcare and a sense of pride in our profession(s).” (Friends of Mentoring Journal, 2005).
This program has been compiled to assist the remote, rural and isolated health practitioner with;
- Information about effective mentoring practice and
- Suggestions on how mentors and mentees can get the best out of a mentoring relationship.
The issues of recruitment and retention in remote practice are well acknowledged and documented, and continue to be topical as highlighted recently in work undertaken by Health Workforce Australia (HWA), in future predictions of workforce shortages.
Support for new graduates either as a recent graduate or those taking up remote practice for the first time, is a key determinant of the quality of their experience and their willingness to stay.
In spite of general acknowledgement that there is a need for mentoring and the contribution it can make to the overall experiences of all staff, mentors and mentees, and ultimately retention, mentoring programs in health are virtually non existent, either nationally or at a local remote level. CRANAplus has acknowledged this need and developed, trialled and evaluated a program with some very positive feedback which has now lead to the next step – LINKS mentoring program for remote and rural health professionals.
The purpose is to provide support and mentorship for new graduates to remote practice, being either a recent graduate or an experienced professional. At the same time it will provide current health professionals in remote practice with the knowledge and skills required to provide effective mentoring, transferrable skills that they can utilise every day in their own practice.
The program will provide relevant knowledge and skills to both the mentor and mentee, through a Continuous Professional Development activity accessible on eRemote and a coordinated and supported mentoring program linking experienced mentors with mentees. The online program coordinator will provide support for the on line module and with the assistance of Bush Support Services develop the mentoring relationship, through regular contact including the use of telephone, e-mails and Skype.