Q&A: Mentoring and job shadowing efforts

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 13

Q: What are your thoughts on mentoring or allowing outside individuals to job shadow CDI staff at your facility? We were recently approached by a young nurse who heard about CDI and has set her sights on joining the profession once she has enough experience.

A: ACDIS typically recommends that those interested in joining the CDI ranks take advantage of the free and paid materials the association offers such as CDI Strategies, CDI Week surveys and Q&As, ACDIS Podcast: Talking CDI, and so forth.

Next, they should reach out to their local chapter leaders and try to attend a meeting or two and see if the chapter hosts mentoring or shadowing programs. Often chapter leaders will be able to connect an interested professional with a qualified CDI mentor or team. While such efforts generally aren’t formalized, it does help to have local chapter involvement so that both sides (the hosting facility and the incoming professional) understand what to expect.

Mentoring can be a challenge, but as CDI staff and programs mature those with robust—and open—mentoring efforts may have an advantage in a somewhat competitive hiring market.

That’s a situation Tracy Boldt, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCDS-O, CDI manager at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota, faces over the next few years. “I have a very seasoned team and will be facing retirements, over the next two to four years,” she says. “The better at mentoring my entire team, the more successful our facility will be in years to come. It’s important to me, we continue to foster young professionals to join the CDI profession as we (I) will need to pass the torch at some point.”

Joy Coletti, MBA, RN, CCDS, the recently retired CDI system director at Memorial Hermann Health System, in Houston, has had a long-term recruitment strategy where experienced CDI on her team allow job-shadowing experiences. “I believe it pays off over time, whether they end up working for your facility/system or not,” she says.

Mentoring should extend beyond new CDI hires to considerations for managers, leads, and other positions within the team, too.

“I have also promoted and mentored CDI managers over recent years, knowing that someday one of them would need to step into my shoes!” Coletti says.

Editor’s Note: This Q&A was part of an ACDIS CDI Leadership Council discussion. To learn more about the Council, click here.

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