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• This is a paper based on a qualitative research project completed in 2014.
• The study had two aims, to investigate what value mentors place on their role as a mentor, and to explore the value of mentorship in midwifery.
• The intention was not to describe how midwives feel about their role but to understand how midwives value and make sense of that value in their experience.
• Midwife mentors agree that their role is essential, however, do not express their role in terms of value.
• Further research could address how mentors can be involved in the development of student documentation and assessments.
This research project aimed to examine the perceived value sign-off mentors (SOMs) in midwifery have for their role. Using a phenomenological approach, the results were drawn from in-depth interviews. The project included a literature review, methodology, results and discussion. The results indicate that mentors enjoy their role and they see themselves as essentials to the delivery of pre-registration midwifery programmes and for the supervision and assessment of student midwives. Mentors are not sure if student midwives value their sign-off mentor, or whether senior management is aware of the sign-off role and its value. This project also confirms previous findings from other studies, particularly the problem of finding time to complete student assessment paper work, support students in clinical practice and whether there are enough SOMs within clinical practice. The study does not conclude that the issues raised are distinctive to midwifery, potentially all of the points raised translate to the various forms of nursing practice.
Journal: Nurse Education Today - Volume 40, May 2016, Pages 52–56