Fixation on Histology

The Facilitator's Role in Creating a Mentorship Program

The Word Advocacy for our profession is a true passion of mine. As a facilitator, I have worked with my team and senior leadership to create a Mentorship Training Program for the institution. My role in this process was to educate others on what the histology and the Mohs profession are and what skill set is required in new hires.

My philosophy statement begins with trust, collaboration, communication, support, teamwork, motivation, and inspiration - all factors and traits that equal success. Building a mentorship program is done through thoughtful planning and a high commitment level to the team. Providing guidance and patience to both the mentors and the mentees will lead to a successful mentorship training program.

Recruiting qualified professionals to our craft can be an arduous task. Once recruited, laboratories and hospitals have trouble retaining their professional staff. Throughout the entire healthcare profession, professionals are aging out and retiring. There is a struggle within the healthcare system to find professional replacements. Creating an in-house mentorship program is a way to address the shortage of qualified technicians as retirements and vacancies now outnumber new graduates (Flanigan, 2016).

The first task is to find someone to facilitate this endeavor. The responsibility of being a facilitator of this training program is to support both new coaches/mentors and new technicians. The plan is that the mentor and the mentee are comfortable with the curriculum and tools used to develop this process. The communication skills and levels exchanged among the mentor and mentee are beneficial.

Once you have selected the facilitator, you need to collaborate and communicate with senior leadership and the doctors involved in the program. The facilitator will create and share the business plan or curriculum, communicating it with senior leaders who will serve as mentors/coaches. This plan will guide them in effectively collaborating with their mentee while teaching them the skills to become a successful technician. This goal can be achieved by providing an effective coaching structure that promotes a collaborative culture (Aguilar, 2013).

Another facilitator's responsibility is to communicate with the mentor on how to be in tune with their mentee's needs and allow them to be confident in asking questions. The mentor and mentee need patience during the teaching process. The mentor must communicate both positive and negative feedback to the mentee. The mentee needs to receive this information and grow from it. (Aguilar, 2013).

One last facilitator responsibility is providing the proper support to the mentor and mentee. So, this process can be an effective, seamless process, allowing the mentor to approach the facilitator with whatever tools and support they might need from them and the doctors or the facility.
This may be something new to your organization; however, studies have shown that peer mentoring is a valuable experience for both the mentor and mentee. Both became more satisfied with their jobs. (Brody et al., 2015)


Aguilar, E. (2013). The art of coaching: Effective strategies for school transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Brody, A., Edelmen, L., Siegel, E., Foster, V., Bailey, D., Bryant, A., & Bond, S. (2015). Evaluation of a peer mentoring program for early career ... Retrieved from

Flanigan, J. (2016). Addressing the Clinical Laboratory Workforce Shortage. Retrieved from

Written by: Camille McKay, M.Ed., BSHCA, HTL, CLT




05-12-2022 07:37

Camille, thank for this post. 

You are right, peer mentorship  is a valuable experience. 

I have had the privilege of mentoring new techs, and I have also been on the other end, being mentored in other areas of the lab. It does breed job satisfaction.  

I also think it makes you content and makes want to stay where you are - with the employer. I think it can lead to retention. I think when you are given a purpose, such as being asked to be a mentor, it grounds you. I think someone who is focused on this new found purpose, won’t be thinking about leaving because they feel satisfied. 

Also, from my experience, I have noticed that techs new to the lab, often want to stay with the lab they consider to be their home lab. It is as though they become emotionally attached. These techs only leave because they are offered better opportunities or because they are offered something their home lab was not providing. 

04-29-2022 08:52

Thank you Camille McKay, M.Ed., BSHCA, HTL, CLT!!!
I have been  worried thinking about the ratio of retired professionals with the substitute ones!!! Scarcity of professionals have also been discussed in the forum. You mentioned a very good approach of replacing the professionals, moreover; sustaining the practice even more effective way than ever is everyone's responsibility. I really appreciated the method you discussed. Thanks again !!