The Power of Passionate Mentoring: Mentoring Experience: Newborn Hearing Screening Program The success of the newborn hearing screening movement in this country resulted from the collaborative work of many committed individuals and the behind-the-scenes mentoring that enabled each of us to succeed at our work. In my own case, I recognize the influence of several key individuals who not only shared ... Features
Free
Features  |   October 01, 2006
The Power of Passionate Mentoring: Mentoring Experience: Newborn Hearing Screening Program
Author Notes
  • Lynn G. Spivak, is director of the Hearing and Speech Center at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital and assistant professor of otolaryngology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Contact her at spivak@lij.edu.
    Lynn G. Spivak, is director of the Hearing and Speech Center at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital and assistant professor of otolaryngology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Contact her at spivak@lij.edu.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Features
Features   |   October 01, 2006
The Power of Passionate Mentoring: Mentoring Experience: Newborn Hearing Screening Program
The ASHA Leader, October 2006, Vol. 11, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR7.11142006.38
The ASHA Leader, October 2006, Vol. 11, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR7.11142006.38
The success of the newborn hearing screening movement in this country resulted from the collaborative work of many committed individuals and the behind-the-scenes mentoring that enabled each of us to succeed at our work. In my own case, I recognize the influence of several key individuals who not only shared their knowledge, skills and wisdom but also served as the catalyst that helped me achieve my goals.
A mentor may play several roles: teacher, role model, counselor, and facilitator. The individuals who had the most profound effect on my career served in all of those roles, but, for my work in newborn hearing screening, the facilitator role was by far the most important.
I experienced this kind of mentoring during my first few years as the director of the hearing and speech center in a large tertiary hospital. I arrived fresh from academia in 1993 where I had been involved in setting up a screening program in the NICU of a local hospital. I brought my enthusiasm for newborn hearing screening to my new job.
Unfortunately, I also brought too much idealism and too little experience in the workings and politics of a medical center. The medical center had not yet embraced the new NIH recommendations for universal newborn hearing screening, but I convinced my chairman that this was an important goal. As neophyte in the hospital world, however, I did not have the knowledge, connections, or clout to establish a program that would involve several departments.
Over the next few months, the chairman put me in contact with the administrators, nurses, and medical chairs who would be instrumental in beginning a screening program. He guided me through the minefields of interdepartmental politics and helped me formulate a strategy. Most important, he believed in my commitment and abilities, and gave me the latitude to make decisions and negotiate deals. With my chairman’s unwavering support and trust, I gained the confidence I needed to implement an NICU screening program within my first year at the medical center and obtain a grant to expand the program to include the well-baby nursery two years later. When the medical center merged with a large health system, my chairman once again guided my efforts to establish newborn screening as the standard of care throughout the system.
Along the way I had the opportunity to coach others. When I left my university position, I trained a talented young audiologist to take my place as coordinator of the screening program that I had begun at the local hospital. A couple of years later, I had the opportunity to hire her to coordinate our newly evolving universal newborn hearing screening program at the medical center. Now I was serving as mentor to a new profesional on our staff and passing on the lessons and experience that I had learned from my mentor.
Today my protégé oversees the screening of 23,000 infants a year who are born in the health system to which our medical center belongs. This audiologist blossomed into a recognized expert in newborn hearing screening, and it is with great pride and satisfaction that I watch her coach others who are entering the field of newborn hearing screening.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2006
Volume 11, Issue 14