Abstract

Fieldwork provides a means by which students are socialized into their profession and their careers. During Level I and Level II fieldwork, students acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and altitudes that will enable them to achieve entry-level competence. The experiences that students have during Level II fieldwork influence their subsequent career choices. To support these experiences, students form a variety of helping relationships with faculty members, clinicians, peers, family, and friends. This article examines the role and responsibilities of the student as protégé and of the clinical educator as information peer, collegial peer, special peer, and mentor In light of the challenges faced by most clinicians secondary to health care reform, an alternative to the one-to-one supervision model is presented. The multiple mentoring model of fieldwork supervision has several advantages: (a) fieldwork educators work with students according to their strengths and interests; (b) the model promotes collegiality and clinical reasoning skills because students use each other as resources and observe different fieldwork educators approaching similar situations; and (c) the model allows a fieldwork site to accept more students at one time, while minimizing stress on any one fieldwork educator A frame-work defining the functions of the mentor-protégé relationship is provided, with an emphasis on the effect that clinical educators have in their roles as mentors, guides, role models, and teachers who provide opportunities for the student to develop entry-level competency in a chosen profession.

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