The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

ADAPTATION OF NURSING NAVIGATOR MENTORSHIP PROGRAM FOR RESPIRATORY THERAPY.

P. Achuff, MBA, RRT-NPS, L. Hough, MEd, RRT-NPS, CPFT, S. Ferry, RRT-NPS, CCRC, K. Goldschmidt, BSN, RNC. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

BACKGROUND: Attrition and turnover remain timeworn issues for managers in healthcare. Orientation programs have attempted to serve many needs in a changing healthcare environment. Issues related to intricate and rapidly changing technology demands orientation focus attention to those skills. Need surrounding interpersonal and cultural assimilation are left un-addressed. Often, these issues result in dissatisfaction for employee and employer.

METHODS: An established and successful Neonatal Nursing Navigator Mentorship Program was adapted for use by the department. The Navigator Mentorship Program is a peer mentoring program designed specifically to provide 6 months of formal support beyond orientation. Unit-based coordinators attended nursing leadership workshops for the mentorship program. Materials were made available. These were reviewed and modified for use where appropriate. A survey was made of all staff members relative to interest in program participation. Interested respondents attended an interactive educational workshop for the mentorship program. Respondents with less than 6 months service at the institution and subsequent new hires were considered to receive a mentor. These therapists received a questionnaire and a profile for them was established. Profiles were matched with volunteer mentors who had completed the workshop training session. Mentee profiles were distributed to mentors. Pairs were kept confidential. Individual progress was tracked.

RESULTS: Implementation was well received. Matches were accepted in all cases. Thirteen mentors were trained and matched with thirteen respondents seeking mentors. Subjective surveys, including mentee's ease of transition from orientation to staff, and the mentee's interest in mentoring new employees, were conducted.

CONCLUSION: In the NICU, orientation expenses incurred by the high attrition rates offset the anticipated costs of the mentoring program. We project implementation of the navigator program for respiratory therapists can correlate to similar outcomes as those experienced by the nursing program. Outcomes tracking and program participation will continue to be monitored.

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