When it comes to mentoring and supervising in a clinical setting, there can be constraints and barriers which can affect the ability of an individual to mentor and supervise. As such it is important to identify these barriers and restraints to then develop strategies to address and minimize these potential problems. These barriers include determining the roles, imposing supervision, communication, confidentiality and institutional barriers (Bush, 2005)#_ENREF_1″ t “Bush, 2005 #760. For supervision and mentoring to be successful it is necessary that the roles of the supervision and the staff or mentee be clearly defined. If the roles are defined this could leave to confusion. Another barrier is that of enforcing supervision. It can sometimes be difficult for supervisors and mentors to be well respected and have their mentees/employees follow their directions. One way to address these two issues would be to first have a meeting with the employees/mentees to clearly define the expectations and responsibilities for both the supervisor and the employees (Martin, Kumar, Lizarondo, & VanErp, 2015)#_ENREF_2” t “Martin, 2015 #764.
Another barrier is that of communication. For supervision or mentoring to be effective, the directions advice and instructions of the supervisor must be clearly communicated. If there is a breakdown in communication or if the instructions are misunderstood. One way to prevent this is to have the employees repeat back important instructions. As well, besides providing these verbally, things can be written down to help increase comprehension and prevent miscommunication. Another barrier is that of confidentiality. Often employees are worried about discussing problems with patients for fear of breaking confidentiality. As such it is important that confidentiality policies are clearly explained. Finally, one other barrier is that of institutional barriers. There could be specific policies that may hamper the supervisor/mentor (Bush, 2005). Overall, in addition to these barriers another constraint is that of having a good fit between mentee and mentor. By working to minimize these barriers and constraints this will ensure that the supervisor/mentor is successful.

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  • Bush, T. (2005). Overcoming the barriers to effective clinical supervision. Nursing Times, 101(2), 38-41.
  • Martin, P., Kumar, S., Lizarondo, L., & VanErp, A. (2015). Enablers of and barriers to high quality clinical supervision among occupational therapists across Queensland in Australia: findings from a qualitative study. BMC health services research, 15(1), 413.