An evaluation of peer facilitated sessions to enhance mentoring skills
The abstract below was accepted and presented at the Pharmacy Education Conference, Manchester, UK, September 2022.
Authors: Kina Vyas and Helen Chang, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, UK.
Title of Abstract: An evaluation of peer facilitated sessions to enhance mentoring skills
Background: Mentoring is a key tool in facilitating professional development1. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) mentoring programme unites members to advance pedagogical knowledge. Recent mentoring research in pharmacy has highlighted a desire for mentors to have access to peer support2. To enhance the skills of experienced mentors, RPS created and delivered a series of peer support sessions.
Objective/Aim: To explore the value of peer support for mentors through facilitated peer support sessions.
Design/Method/Methodology: A series of peer support sessions were co-designed and delivered by RPS and two experienced mentors (pharmacists who had mentored several healthcare professionals), creating a confidential space for discussion and professional development. Sessions focussed on mentors’ skills in managing complex issues when supporting mentee’s professional needs. Attendees were encouraged to share experiences, reflect, and discuss approaches to overcome complex situations.
Following the session, attendees (n=41) completed an online survey about the value of the sessions. The survey was comprised of quantitative and qualitative questions. Data was thematically analysed3.
Ethics approval was not required as this was considered to be a low-risk study.
Results: Across 2021, three peer facilitated mentoring sessions were delivered.
Survey results (n= 11, 27% of mentors responded) showed 100% of attendees would recommend the sessions to colleagues and 99% agreed the learning outcome of enhancing mentoring skills were met.
Qualitative data fall into three themes:
- Value of peer support
- Enhancement of mentoring skills and knowledge
- Learning from peers.
It appears that peer sessions contribute to professional development and the enhancement of mentoring skills.
Discussion: This study suggests peer support is highly valued by mentors, and support in this capacity serves as an appropriate professional development tool.
Mentors appreciate a safe space for confidential discussion of their mentoring approach. These findings could inform and shape national and international peer support delivery models to a wider audience.