A pilot study of email in an e-mentoring relationship
E-mentoring is an alternative to conventional face-to-face mentoring, incorporating the use of email, bulletin boards, discussion groups, instant messaging and videoconferencing. In a pilot trial, a New Zealand midwife mentored two new graduate midwives using a secure email system. The main themes of the email messages exchanged were debriefing and reflection, clinical queries, provision of information and discussion of professional issues. The pilot study showed that e-mentoring is a feasible option for midwives and warrants further investigation. Both mentor and mentees found the experience to be a helpful one. One of the advantages for both mentor and mentees was the flexibility of communication, since responses to email messages could be made at times that suited the authors. Nevertheless, issues of Internet access and the technical expertise of midwives will need to be considered in order for large scale e-mentoring to be implemented.
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare