November 23, 2017

The value of teaching | Our CHAP Mentor Carmela is in the hot seat


Recently, CHAP Mentor, Carmela contacted us to tell us how proud she was of her CHAPs at their graduation. Here at Four Seasons Health Care we love to celebrate all of our colleagues’ achievements. So when we received this email from Charnwood’s Deputy Manager, Carmela we knew we had to dig a little deeper:

 “I wanted to share with you a collage photo of my three successful Chaps. I'm so proud of their achievement and so proud to be the mentor of these three great people.....”

Well, if you ask us, there are four amazing stories to be told here! So we turned the tables, and asked Carmela some questions about her career path and her experiences as a CHAP Mentor...

Q. What attracted you to the CHAP Mentor role?

A. Previously, I was a Registered Nurse Mentor at the Nottingham School of Nursing, and I have mentored student Nurses and I really enjoyed it. So I decided I wanted to mentor the CHAPs because I always want to impart and share my knowledge with my colleagues who aspire to develop their careers further.

Q. What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a CHAP Mentor?

A. If you have the passion for teaching and sharing your knowledge, and watching the success of your colleagues -mentor them. To see them succeed is the biggest pride you will have in yourself, it so rewarding thinking that you have been a part of their success.

Q. What was your favourite part of the Mentor role? And why?

A. I enjoyed the competency observation as my colleagues were asking me challenging questions… they were continually asking “what if..?” and asking “But then…?” etc. Their enthusiasm drives me more to teach them in more detail, and having a laugh and a joke with them develops the bond between us during the entire training.

Q. Was there anything you found difficult?

A. Yes. Finding time to work with them and taking them off the floor to do their observations and discussion session is a challenge in such a fast paced environment.

Q. Do you think completing the CHAP programme changes how potential CHAPs approach their role in the home?

A. Yes, it gives them confidence in their abilities, shows them that there is always room for improvement and it gives them a step up the ladder and opens their eyes to aspire for greater things.

Q. Could you describe the CHAP program in 3/4 words?

Q. Has being a CHAP mentor helped you in your professional and personal development?
A. Yes, it refreshes my understanding and skills in regards to the theoretical knowledge and the clinical skills that I teach them. This makes me more confident and competent in my role as a Nurse in the care home.

Q. What would you say are the key characteristics of a CHAP?
A. The key characteristics of a CHAP are…….confident, aspiring, determined, positive and caring.

Q. Do you think potential CHAPs have adequate resources to successfully complete the CHAP Programme?

A. They have, but could do with more so as to be able to get more knowledge and skills.

Q. Was there any surprise elements in your new role?
A. Not really, I have mentored nursing students before so it’s nothing new to me.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add? (On a personal note)
A. On a personal note, I’m currently training my fourth CHAP, I am really proud to have mentored three successful CHAPs, seeing them graduate is my biggest achievement and I can say, “I AM A PART OF THEIR SUCCESS!”

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Louise Morris

As Care Home Assistant Practitioner (CHAP) Lead I work to support the rollout of the CHAP Qualification across the UK. The CHAP role aims to provide Care Assistants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take on more responsibility within our homes. We couldn’t provide outstanding care without the work of every member of the care team and we want to support all our colleagues in their professional development. I am lucky enough to see our Care Assistants take this next exciting step in their professional care career.

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