Purpose: The purpose of TRA’s Mentorship Program is to provide an additional source of support during the Radiologic Technologist Scholar’s training period. Mentoring is a non-evaluative opportunity for students to tap into existing knowledge, skills, and experience of TRA’s physicians, techs and leadership to learn, brainstorm, problem solve and network.
Goal: The goal of the mentorship program is to help develop key talent through career development, education, learning, and boosting engagement. Problem solving is an important aspect of the program whereby a mentor can be a sounding board when the less experienced student comes up against a situation or problem that they are not familiar with or can’t see a solution to. Career planning and networking is another important goal for the mentoring program. TRA’s mentorship program is designed to build confidence in students, form a strong relationship with a role model, and grow the pool of potential TRA employee mentors.
Process: While no two relationships develop in the exact same way, mentoring relationships tend to follow four stages: Preparing, Negotiation, Enabling Growth, Coming to Closure. Understanding these stages helps all parties develop more realistic expectations prior to entering the relationship. It’s important to note that, in real life, two people don’t often neatly progress through relationship stages. They may skip steps, move backward or frequently flip-flop between two stages. There is no timeline for when relationships should progress–matches need to move at a rate that is comfortable for the mentor and mentee
The Four Stages to the Mentoring Process
1. Preparing Stage:
Getting Ready The preparing phase is a discovery process where the mentor and mentee take time to set the tone for the relationship by engaging in conversation, getting to know each other, and understanding each other’s contexts. Clarity about both expectation and role is essential in establishing a productive mentoring relationship.
2. Negotiation Stage:
Establishing Agreements Negotiation is the business phase of the relationship and the time when mentor and mentee come to an agreement on learning goals and defining the content and process of the relationship. Mentor and mentee should have a conversation about what the student hopes to gain from the relationship, as well as areas of interest and defining goals for the mentorship. In addition to establishing goals, it is important to agree to boundaries about availability, topics for discussion, etc.
3. Enabling Growth:
Facilitating Learning This is the longest stage of a mentoring relationship as it is where most of the work occurs. The mentor and mentee talk on a regular basis. Program staff are also available to assist as needed.
4. Coming to Closure Stage:
Looking back, Moving forward Coming to closure is much more than simply marking the end of the mentoring relationship, it is an opportunity for the mentor and mentee to recognize and celebrate what they have learned and accomplished. It’s a time to discuss next steps in the student’s career path, future growth opportunities with TRA, and to harvest the learning to other relationships and situations.