Be a Mentor/Mentee

Posted by Karol Spraggs-Young, OTD, OTR/L, CHT on 06/12/2017

How did you get to where you are today? An interesting question, right? If you are reading this, you are most likely an ASHT member, therapist, friend, spouse, sibling, family member and individual who has experienced a variety of meaningful relationships throughout your own personal journey. Now take a minute and think about your journey, including the significant accomplishments or milestones in your life. What individuals and opportunities have surrounded you or made a difference in your growth and development? Who has influenced you, contributed to your learning or changed your way of thinking? What are some of the characteristics of the people who have made an impact on your personal and professional life? When we reflect upon these questions, it becomes apparent that our life experiences have been full of mentoring relationships and have given us the tools we need to be a mentor or mentee.

Within our profession, mentoring traditionally takes place in a therapy clinic, between a more experienced therapist and a novice practitioner. This is a type of peer mentoring, which often focuses on instruction to improve specialized skills, assist in facilitating critical thinking and may even aid in preparing for the Hand Therapy Certification Exam; however, with the advancement of technology, mentoring can also have an informal structure, occurring between therapists who have identified learning goals and meet virtually while in different locations and time zones. Now it is easier than ever to engage in a mentoring relationship that can be mutually rewarding for personal and professional growth.

Understanding the importance of mentoring for the continued growth and development of qualified hand therapy specialists, the ASHT Education Division and the Hand Therapy Certification Commission have been working on several projects to promote mentoring between therapists. The volunteer members of the ASHT Education Division are happy to announce the new Mentoring Program section on the ASHT website. Here you can find helpful videos, tools and resources to assist in the mentoring process. A mentoring e-Community has also been established, providing a platform for discussing the issues surrounding mentoring and allowing for matching with a mentor or mentee. Take a look at our new Mentoring Program section. We hope you will find this member benefit useful as you realize that your mentoring expertise is needed to help shape the future of our profession.