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Mentoring our young.

As professionals and leaders in the American Medical Technologists, we have seen great growth and development in our organization. The strength and wisdom of the people who make up this organization are tremendous. As awards are presented at the national convention, everyone marvels at the level of dedication to our profession and of the years of service. Each year, there has always been a nagging question for me. Who will take their place as they retire? How will anyone ever measure up to their achievement and greatness?

The answer is clear; it will be the young people in our organization and they can reach the benchmark! As I look around the room in any meeting, I wonder if there are enough young people to fill the shoes of those that are leading. This thought has been a haunting one for me. It is my belief that every one of us who is dedicated to the cause and purpose of AMT have a responsibility to make sure that the seats are filled with the young. We need to guide them to reach the level of achievement of those who went before them.


We must mentor our young but it is not an easy task. As baby boomers, we were raised to work hard, long and always do our very best. This is witnessed by the members who so unselfishly lead committees, publish newsletters, organize events, chair meetings and serve in any capacity that is required of them. As the new "media generation" takes charge, it will be our mission to welcome them into AMT and embrace what they bring to our organization. Our job will be to make the young embrace AMT and clearly see how being a member and being a leader will enhance their personal and professional lives.

What are our challenges? Mentoring is an act of volunteerism requiring time, patience and personal devotion. Time is scarce as we race through our daily lives to fulfill our commitments to our jobs and our families. Personally inviting new people to meetings and explaining the educational seminars takes valuable minutes that many of us do not feel we have to spare. Meeting with a school group or contacting new AMT members is time-intensive. The extra effort takes thought and planning.

For two years I talked about starting a student organization, but I was too busy. It took a "mentor" to encourage me by telling me how simple the process was. At the first meeting, I was brought to tears by watching all of the young faces with the enthusiasm and excitement as I talked about AMT and explained the purpose and mission of the organization and shared the benefits of being a member. Their ideas and willingness to work as we grow our organization made me realize that they could well be the next AMT members on the stage receiving an award. Our young people are ready to step up.

What can we do to mentor our young? We all can be role models by our involvement and sharing our knowledge and experiences with new professionals. Passion is a strange thing--it can be contagious. We can all share by going to any event that allows us to share information about AMT. Knowing that you touched a life by something you shared is reward enough for any extra effort that you may have to put forth. I always share the fact that I have been to many conventions, seminars and meetings; but, I never felt so welcomed and embraced until I attended my first AMT national convention. What made it feel so special is the wonderful people welcoming me and helping me see what a good fit I was to this organization. Belonging is a wonderful thing and we can share that with all of our young people.

The person that has mentored me is a strong and hard working individual. She has shared so many things that have helped me. Many of these lessons have not only helped me with AMT but they have also helped me be a better person. Even though I am at early retirement age, she treats me as a "young" person and has motivated me to work hard and to include the growth of AMT in my aspirations.

At every AMT meeting or event that I have ever attended, I have heard "thank you" and recognition to the members for the growth and success of the organization. AMT is growing by leaps and bounds and it is the responsibility of all of the members to "grow" the future leaders. Share, teach and promote this wonderful organization with every opportunity that you have. Go out of your way to get someone to a meeting. If you are an instructor, take the time to include sharing information about AMT and lead the students to participation. We can all have a very important role in mentoring our young. The reward is sharing their enthusiasm and watching them grow into some very big shoes.

Alice Macomber, RN, RMA, AHI, RPT Medical Assisting University Department Chair of Keiser University; Secretary of Florida State Society AMT; Member of RPT EQS Committee; Faculty Advisor Keiser University-Port St. Lucie Student AMT organization
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Author:Macomber, Alice
Publication:AMT Events
Date:Jun 1, 2011
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