By Amy Lynn Gutierrez, SLP, Village Care Center, McAllen, TX -
I have been a practicing SLP for the past six years and have had the pleasure of working for Village Care Center in McAllen, TX, for five years. In 2011, I was presented with the opportunity to mentor a new graduate who was seeking to complete her CFY. I have to admit, initially I was a bit apprehensive as I did not feel I possessed the “tools” to educate and/or mentor a fellow clinician.
On July 11, 2011, Denise joined our team as an intern in Speech-Language Pathology. She has since then been a wonderful asset to our work family. Being a recent graduate, she has provided not only me, but also our whole team, with unique treatment approaches along with a different perspective. These past nine months have flown by so fast, it is astonishing to believe that it has come and gone. I remember her first day and how reluctant I was to provide her with her own list of patients. My director said to me: “She’ll be fine. You can’t follow her around forever, and you need to give her more than three patients!” I couldn’t help but recall when I was an intern and how terrified I was; she must have been feeling the same way. Slowly but surely, I let go of the reins and realized I would always be within walking distance in case she needed anything. I am very fortunate to have had such a wonderful first experience with my CF. We had many adventures together that provided us with a number of teaching moments.
The most important thing I learned throughout this experience is that we won’t always have the immediate answer, and that fear should not hinder us from taking on a task that may seem challenging. My apprehension toward becoming a mentor was unwarranted. I now understand that mentoring a fellow clinician should be viewed as a privilege. It’s a learning experience for supervisor and intern both and an experience we will both carry with us.