Health professionals (HPs) appear to be aware of computer-mediated social networking in terms of the software, but there are few examples of it being integrated into clinical practice, education or professional development. Yet social networking has the potential to play a role in the facilitation of mentoring support and professional development which has been recognized as vital to maintaining the recruitment and retention of HPs. This paper describes an ongoing study that is investigating how nurses and allied health staff are making use of an email e-mentoring system that was set up in 2007. The staff have not engaged with the closed email e-mentoring system because of a lack of understanding of mentoring especially in an online context, poor computer skills and an inability to develop a mentoring relationship at a distance. Whilst social networking may not solve all these issues, it has the potential to facilitate a community approach to mentoring which increases access to learning and support opportunities.
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- Computer-Mediated Social Networking for Mentoring of Health Professionals
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