The Supervising Registrants’ primary role is supervision, but this also includes mentorship. Mentorship in dentistry is the total support of a student by an appropriately experienced person.
The mentor is an essential part of the quality assurance process when training members of the dental team. Effective mentors are able to develop high quality students through the quality of their learning. Mentors guide the student through the knowledge, skills and attributes that are required by the sector and the regulator.
Direct mentoring: This is where the student sits alongside the mentor but doesn’t take a leading role. Direct mentoring is most appropriate when a student is new to a particular task or lacks the confidence to compete the task appropriately. This is the beginning of the observe, rehearse and practice process.
Indirect mentoring: This is used when the student has a good knowledge of the clinical task. Using indirect monitoring, the student is allowed to lead on a task once with the meontor observing to offer support if needed.
Arms-length mentoring: Is used when the student has a high level of competency in completing a clinical task. In this situation the student completes the task on their own without the mentor physically present. However, the mentor should be available if the student requires support.
Here we will look at some of the key roles of the mentor in facilitating the students’ learning:
Mentors need to assess the dental environment as a learning tool for the student. Consider the following attributes of the dental environment: