From theory to practice: the path of the first Ukrainian mentors in internatura

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After two months of online training in course for mentors in internatura, the participants met offline during the seminar “From Theory to Practice: The Path of the First Ukrainian Mentorsin in Internatura”. The meeting, code-named “After the Holidays”, turned out to be rich and with a pleasant taste of offline meeting, finally. We managed to create a seminar to share experiences, where everyone can share their successes, experiences and even worries regarding the list of changes needed for the functioning of mentorship in internatura across the country.

Igor Zastavny, speaker of a course on mentorship who not only teaches but also practices mentoring at work, shared interesting cases, experience of debriefing and providing feedback to interns. Participants learned to create an atmosphere of trust and psychological security, to communicate verbally and non-verbally with mentees, and to make decisions together, understanding educational goals and focusing on them.

The hardest is to talk about complicated things in simple words, and not only with mentees, but also with patients. Although these skills are soft, you need to work on them as meticulously as you are used to training clinical skills. The mentor should set an example of tolerance and empathy in communicating with patients, and train interns to behave the same way. Daryna Dmytrievska, an ambassador of tolerance and a fierce enemy of any discrimination in medicine, helped us to improve our soft skills. With her easy approach, mentors were able to play the role of those patients who are most often discriminated in medicine. Real interns practiced communication, and real mentors learned to give feedback to their mentees.

The teams of Dobrobut Academy and Dobrobut Medical Network are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for change. The institute of mentoring in this clinic already exists. Alyona Mateichuk, a doctor and mentor for interns, a mentoring course participant, spoke about her first steps, concerns and obstacles that she had to overcome: “Despite the fact that at first I had no experience in mentoring, I had a great desire to help interns adapt and develop. Mentoring is a good opportunity to gain new experience and determine the vector of development.”

Interns also joined the seminar, and not only as participants. Oleksandr Belko and Yevhenia Loginova shared their own experience of autonomous internship practice. The interns told how they were afraid but at the same time wanted to practice on their own, felt responsibility and were inspired by the first success. It was gratifying to hear that the trust and support of their mentor Alyona Mateychuk inspired and was important.

Do you think this is something fantastic and impossible to implement in your healthcare facility? Absolutely not – the main is your desire! Viktoria Kovach, coordinator of the internship training centre of the Dobrobut Academy, assured us: “If we have interns who are motivated to study and grow, mentors who are ready to vouch for them and an effective administrative system, everything will work out. The main thing is to understand why and how we do it. It is important to form clear algorithms of action for interns and mentors that will allow patients to safely conduct autonomus work with patients. Our case is a good example of cases when patients come for repeated visits to interns and remain satisfied with the quality of care provided.”

Victor Artemenko, our constant moderator and generator of ideas, helped to discuss the changes needed at the level of educational institutions and health care institutions to make mentoring a new norm in internships in Ukraine. The seminar was completed by the unsurpassed Olga Bershadska, who worked on creation of a community of mentors with us! Of course, these are just the first steps we have taken together to work adequately in the internship. Therefore, we confidently say that the community of mentors exists and will develop!

Should we add that the participants of the seminar were satisfied? Here are the main feedback in the form of feedback:

  • “We want more!”
  • “Let’s make the seminar regular!”