Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

The questions asked at Mentor courses and updates have been collated into sections with answers. To access more in-depth information or examples click on links underlined in the answers. Please note, that if you have a query or you require further support with a student you are mentoring, you have access to Link Tutors, Personal Tutors and Practice Educators contact details at these links.

Attendance at placement, duty hours and professional behaviour

What should happen if a student is sick or absent?

The student should report any sickness while on placement to the university and also inform the practice placement. The mentor should inform the school by telephone, recording the dates in the student’s assessment record, If a student fails to appear contact the university as students should notify the mentor or practice area of the situation.

When do students make up their sick or absence time?

This is negotiated with the Course Director and completed in their final placement.

Can a student fail their placement due to high levels of absence or sick leave?

Yes, if this means they are unable to demonstrate competence in their learning outcomes.

Are childcare problems a valid excuse for persistent lateness?

If the problem is short term, there may be room for negotiation. In the long term it is both unprofessional and may be an obstacle to fulfilling learning outcomes. Long term problems should be discussed with the Link Lecturer. If students are experiencing any personal difficulties, it may be advisable that they seek support from their personal tutors or Bangor University Student Counselling Service to try and resolve their problems.

What do I do if a student does not co-operate with me?

Initially make the student aware of your observation, and of your right to have their co-operation, attempt to resolve the matter between you. If this action does not rectify the situation and you are relatively new to the role of the mentor, confer with and seek guidance fro a more experienced mentor in the immediate clinical area e.g. the Ward Manager. If that does not lead to resolution, or even if it does and you still wish to share what has happened for some reason, then contact the Link Lecturer and share your views and seek guidance. If the Link Lecturer is not available then contact the student’s Personal Tutor, and if they are not available their Course Leader, and failing that any member of the School staff and ask them to put you in contact with the most senior member of academic staff available. If there is a student support person/team in your organisation, they can also assist you with this.

Must students do as they are told by clinical staff?

Yes, unless they have good reason not to. Situations occasionally occur in which the student’s knowledge or judgement warrants them questioning an instruction. When this happens they must make their case known in an appropriate manner, and it is important your response reflects that. These can be emotionally charged situations and it is easy for a conflict to arise and escalate or for one party to feel discomfort and even hurt by the associated anxiety.

Can students ‘work’ double shifts or other unusual shift patterns?

No. Unless a specific case has been made to the school and approval gained. There is a wide variation of shift patterns worked by the various clinical staff who may become mentors. Generally a student can ‘work’ the same pattern at their mentor, this includes ’12 hour’ shifts. Health and Safety issues are a major consideration in determining what is appropriate.


What happens to student evaluation forms?

The evaluation forms are collated and scores are reported to the Clinical Assessment areas every August.

How to become and sustain mentoring

To become a mentor you must have been qualified for at least 12 months full time or longer if part time and have responsibility for mentoring pre-registration students of Bangor or Glyndwr University . The mentor programme can be taken in non-accredited format and a credited format. To become a mentor you need to prepared through completion of the Mentor programme, approved Mentor module, or the Mentorship, Learning and Assessment in Practice Module with your local Higher Education Institution. It is important to discuss this with your manager as you have to be in an area that provides placements for students.

The programme is 10 days, 5 days protected learning, of which 4 days are face to face with one day directed reading. The remaining 5 days of work based learning in practice supervised by an experienced mentor in practice who will assess your competence in supporting and assessing a student in practice against the NMC outcomes for mentors (2008).

After successfully completing the mentor competencies and returned them to the Higher Education Institution for verification, they will be returned to you with a certificate to place in your Mentor portfolio. The certificate must be shown to your manager who will then enter you on the local register.

After completing mentor preparation it is your responsibility to attend an annual mandatory mentor update which can be in a variety of ways:-

  • Mentor Update face to face sessions by the HEI.
  • e Mentor update
  • Mentor updates as part of the Band 5 development programme
  • Sessions targeted at staff on Audit days such as Theatres