Mentorship and Professional Development

Shelagh Keogh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Since the early 1980s, the term 'mentorship' has been used with increasing frequency. Whilst there is a commonality in the usage of the term, it does mean very different things to different professional groups. For example, it is used in relation to socially excluded young people to refer to an older person who befriends them and assists with their integration in society, both in formal schemes and often in the more flexible sense of an older person assigned to assist them with various aspects of their lives. As mentioned in the Introduction, within professional groups the terms can be used in a very specific manner. For instance, the mentor's role in nursing and midwifery education in the United Kingdom is often more akin to that of a clinical supervisor, who monitors very specific and focused skill development. In other professional situations, the term is perhaps used more loosely to describe a less prescribed and more informal relationship.

Whilst recognising these tensions in the use of the term, this chapter will focus on the notion of professionalism that underpins the concept of mentorship. This is common to all the health professions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMentorship in Healthcare
EditorsMary E. Shaw, John Fulton
PublisherM & K Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781905539963
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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