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Summer McMurry: I'm Summer McMurry, with Carolina Pediatric Therapy and I'm here today with our awesome Clinical Directors team here at Carolina Peds and today we're talking about mentoring and the mentoring program that we have here at Carolina Peds. First, let me have you guys go around and just introduce yourself and tell us what department you lead.
Courtney Carriveau: I'm Courtney Carriveau and I'm the Director of the Occupational Therapy team.
Jenn Basch: I'm Jenn Basch and I'm the Director of the Physical Therapy team.
Catherine Funk: I'm Catherine Funk and I'm the Director of the Behavioral Health team.
Caroline Moore: I'm Caroline Moore the Director of the Speech Therapy team.
Summer McMurry: Awesome okay so Mentoring is really a part of the culture that we have here at Carolina Peds, as far as being able to show onto others and celebrate the successes and really support and create this work environment that.
Is really a network of support for our clinicians here at Carolina pays and it really helps the quality of care here as well, so. I would really like to ask you guys some questions about mentoring from your perspective as directors will talk to the.
Mentoring groups and then also want from a leadership standpoint what you guys think about that program and.
You know it's such a big part of the culture that we have it's evolved over the years, you know it started out as kind of a little idea or a seed, really based in the supervision requirements for getting full licensure for some of our disciplines and then it's evolved over the years, so I first like to ask you guys when you hear the word mentor, what do you guys think of? What does that bring up for you? Maybe it could be a good experience you've had with a mentor in your life or a positive experience.
Jenn Basch: I think of a mentor as somebody that, you know, is there to guide you and to help so their knowledge and to you, to really just kind of to support you to grow into being better at whatever that is so better clinician, better communicator, better problem solver. Things like that.
Caroline Moore: And I think that mentor themselves has learned to be a good communicator, problem solver, all of those things as a therapist and so then they're able to. Help the new people coming in to learn those things, and how to navigate.
Catherine Funk: I think what you guys are saying is amazing, and I agree, and then also just someone who's really able to buy that unconditional support and and really meeting the mentee exactly where they are you know and not expecting something different from them.
Courtney Carriveau: And I think another wonderful part of the mentor relationship is that mentors ability to help the mentee grow and not always just giving them the answer, but supporting them in a way that they can utilize their own skills and their own clinical knowledge to grow as a clinician.
Summer McMurry: Yeah so why do you guys think it's really important, and why did we want to have a mentoring program that was really strong here at Carolina Peds?
Jenn Basch: Thinking about new grads is one of the populations that we definitely want to mentor. Just no amount of things that you could read it a textbook journal articles lectures that you could attend in school for all the scenarios that you encounter as you go out into the field, and so I think. It's really beneficial to have somebody that has that experience and knowledge and maybe not even to. Have been in that exact same scenario, but they can draw from their years of experience and knowledge to really coach you and kind of help you deal with the nuances that come with. You know, being in real life in the field versus kind of this hypothetical that we think about what we're in school.
Caroline Moore: In addition to that as well, like if someone's coming in, who has experienced already it. Is very helpful for just this setting you can in this setting you can easily kind of be disconnected and it allows for the connection that people need to feel like they are part of a bigger thing.
Catherine Funk: I think one thing I think about is that you know we all have mentors in our past experience that we kind of develop these relationships with across time but I think the there's nothing that really prepares you for starting a new job at the new company and if your mentor is not within that company. It's really hard for them to understand and be able to support you, and so I really love the idea that from day one, no matter how much experience you have. We kind of acknowledge that starting a new job it comes with its own challenges and and someone within the company has that shared experience. And, at one point also started this new job at this company and can really jump in and sort of, say, like Oh, I was there to like this is how I did they are this is. Know how to support you, which really I think just is really nice because you don't have to wait and kind of form relationships with mentors here at the company you get one that automatically starts supporting you.
Courtney Carriveau: Right and I have been here since before we had the formal mentor program and while we have always been really supportive and there's plenty of people to ask questions to I noticed a huge difference between just asking. People for help versus having that one designated person that's really protecting time for you in their schedule who's your go to. Person who's the first one, you can go to with any questions concerns and then can also help put you in the right direction and connect you to other people on the greater team that could help you more specifically.
Summer McMurry: That's okay yeah okay so yeah like for us, I think you know our mentoring program it does kind of their different relationships that we have in different. I guess context for being a mentor whether it's with graduate students, where we have. You know we're clinical instructors for our graduate students. There's those more formal supervision types of things which we can talk about a little bit here with the speech and behavioral health you guys have a little bit more formal supervision requirements and even to get formal licensure. And then there's that mentoring, where you know if you're just new to a job. You're brand new here, maybe don't have a lot of experience there's mentor in that regard, but then there's also you have a lot of experience. But this is just a new job for you and you need somebody to support you along the way, so there's several different contexts that we have mentors here. That kind of brings me around to kind of the history of how we started this Courtney had mentioned that she was here before we ever had a formal mentoring program and it was really kind of rooted in the speech pathology for us to begin with, was really that clinical fellowship year for the speech language pathologist. Caroline, can you tell us a little bit about the the clinical fellowship the structure of that program and what's in place there.
Caroline Moore: Yes, and the clinical fellowship year goes for a nine month period and the clinical fellow has to have it approved by the Board of Examiners with the signature by them and their supervisor. And during that nine months, they have to have a certain amount of supervision. Each month, and with that supervision comes not only just mentorship in terms of getting to know the company you're in but it's. Therapeutic mentorship as well. They are required to do a certain number of observations and their therapies and then certain number of other things.
Caroline Moore: In addition to that it's certain numbers of evaluation hours certain number of treatment hours. So it's a really structured nine month period to lead to the full licensure after Grad school.
Summer McMurry: And a Cat with behavioral health, there are variety of different supervision requirements and that discipline or in that field, can you tell me more about that?
Catherine Funk: Yeah there's some unique aspects, I think, each licensure type but typically you know if we look at you know clinical social worker. Clinical mental health counseling that's typically a two year period in which they have to get a certain number of hours both clinical and non-clinical experience and then. A certain amount of supervision hours across those two years per week and also includes like recording their practice and reviewing it with their supervisor and sort of different tasks like that okay.
Summer McMurry: And then for physical therapy and occupational therapy, Jenn & Courtney, is there any formal mentoring or any kind of requirements for for licensure or you come out school you've got full licensure.
Jenn Basch: As long as you pass your state licensure exam then you're ready to go after you graduate from Physical Therapy. Okay yeah.
Courtney Carriveau: same for occupational therapy.
Summer McMurry: Okay, and what challenges, do you guys see with that particular model of you just have a license and you're out and there's really not a requirement for any kind of supervision other challenges there.
Courtney Carriveau: Yeah I would say in the OT program there is built in clinical internships. But you don't always get to see all of the settings and you don't always get a placement in the setting that you end up working in, and so you could easily be on your first job and not have had that. Supervision during an internship so we really wanted to make sure at Carolina Peds that regardless of what student placements that the new hire had. Experienced before coming to us that they would have somebody there to help guide them through their first bit with us and learning the field and making sure they have that support that they might have missed if I didn't get that exact similar setting and one of their internships.
Jenn Basch: And I'd say it's a pretty stark contrast too even though, as a student in your placements the goals to be independent in those evaluation and treatment settings. Your clinical instructor is still usually there, whether it's in the room, whether you know, it's within eyesight, and so I remember when I first came out thinking to myself, nobody needs to watch what I'm doing? You know I'm just ready to do this on my own? And so it's a really nice bridge to go from being used to having somebody there continually to just again having that support person. To know that you can brainstorm clinical ideas you can ask them to come to one of your sessions as scheduling allows and so it's a really nice way to kind of ease in and, as you know that new clinician to help ease your way into being confident to being truly 100% independent.
Summer McMurry: yeah yes, and so, for us, we really wanted to extend not only the required supervision that has to happen to get full licensure. Wanted to extend that to your new folks that are getting started and then run that across all disciplines, so that no matter. What discipline you're part of, or what what department you're part of, you're still all getting that same level of mentoring and supervision that was needed. So I want to talk a little bit about how our programs evolved a little bit because it went from this kind of a supervision requirement. Of a thing to something that we extended to the whole team, so when a new person comes to Carolina Peds what is that, kind of just high level, what does that look like for them when they first get started.
Caroline Moore: So when someone's first getting started they get connected with their mentor. Basically, via email, and then they have each other's contact information and then the mentor contacts them during their orientation and is there for observations during a certain day during orientation. And then, after the orientation they start weekly formal meetings with each other.
Summer McMurry: Okay, any other other any differences among the other teams, or is that pretty standard. Pretty standard. Okay, well, so in all of that, what have you all seen has been the benefit like since we've used some of you've been here since before we ever had a mentorship Program. And then, some of you started a little bit later in that way, have you guys seen as directors, as the benefit to the mentee and having that mentorship there.
Jenn Basch: I think that, of course, we're always very intentional during orientation of you know items that we need to cover and what's important. But what I've learned from being a mentor and seeing other mentor relationships is there's just always places that you know we've missed or you know we have a pretty intensive week long orientation and it's a lot of information to absorb. And so, even when I come prepared for a mentorship meeting up here the things that I want to cover, I'm always you know surprised or reminded that oh like. You know there's all these other questions that people have, and so it's just a really nice way to get those cleared up so that. People are able to resolve some, you know, questions that they have and they're not having to live in that period of being. Unconfident all that anxiety that comes with just figuring out a new job so it's kind of nice to be able to resolve that rather quickly and having it kind of builds on itself if we didn't have that formal mentorship period setup.
Catherine Funk: I think it also really allows a space for new hires to just be vulnerable and say who like this, you know just building a caseload sometimes it's hard or. Or you know what they're trying to make sure they've got everything that they're doing correctly, just like Jenn was saying, from all the information they learned in orientation it just really allows them. Safe space to ask those questions versus trying to find someone in the hallway in between sessions and ask those questions or or try to catch their director, you know, I think it just really. Allows them to have a go to person to be vulnerable, which is really important.
Courtney Carriveau: Right and following up on on what Jenn said I've seen a huge difference in. New hires being able to ask those questions and figure things out early on, it improves the quality of care for the clients, but it also really decreases errors on the new hires part. When it comes to auditing and documentation all of that gets caught much sooner and it makes it a little smoother of an onboarding process for the new hires to have that person, they could go to. Every single week whenever they have a question versus holding on to it for a really long time until they have an opportunity to run into that right person.
Caroline Moore: and also the mentor helps connect them with the right people too, and like that can be overwhelming, is there a lot of people hearing you don't know them, and especially so much in this virtual world. The mentor knows those people and can connect you to them, and so you get to know people a little quicker and start feeling more comfortable.
Summer McMurry: It seems like the mentoring program really even has an effect of anxiety reduction and well being of just giving them some mental health. Just some support they're just having that extra person that they can talk to that's not a supervisor not someone who. Is really managing, being their manager or anything, but it's just another peer really that can help them walk through that journey and that. The beginning stages, is it is anxiety ridden to learn a new job and all the things that you have to know, and you have to really put all that together. Whether it's learning any documentation system or learning a new evidence based practice it and if you've not used before and all that kind of together can create a lot of stress so. It really is an effort too, I think, to help with provider well being and hopefully burnout prevention and those types of things so. That it really is an important part I think of what we do, as far as that network of support. So let's shift our our talk from. The mentee and the benefits of them let's talk about for the mentor like what is the benefit if you're going to be a mentor what's the benefit to you for doing that? What are some positives there.
Caroline Moore: I think for my group I've heard a lot about how the mentors have to step back and reflect on their own practice and, like realize, Oh, you know I've gotta if I'm going to talk the talk that better walk the walk and so you know I can't be telling someone they need to do this and not be doing it myself, and so they reflect on that and then they've also let me know that it feels like it keeps them more current in in things they not only learn things from their mentee, but they also want to stay abreast of the things they need to learn to be able to help their mentee so you can say really good feeling for the mentors to have that.
Catherine Funk: Yeah I think you know oftentimes the excitement comes from the mentors and saying like Oh, my goodness the mentee showed me something new that I didn't even realize, you know I could do, or this really new neat new trick that they figured out, I didn't even realize, which is is always exciting and then I think it's also you know, it feels really good to get back to our profession, you know we we all really. Love what we do and want to see others love what we do as well, and so I think that's a big piece of it too, of just being able to give back to the profession in a different way and give the support that you know some of us like received when you first started, you were in the Mentorship Program.