Published on January 10th, 2013 | from CAMH Education

Preparing clinicians for the Preceptor Role [video]

In 2007, two nurses, funded by the Late Career Nursing initiative and supported by the Professional Practice Office, piloted three half-day introductory workshops designed to  prepare nurses for the preceptor role.  The sessions were a hit and have since grown to include student supervisors from a variety of health professions.  To date, 215 staff members have participated in this interprofessional educational opportunity.

Interprofessional participation creates an excellent venue for the sharing of ideas and experiences. Away from the clinical environment, participants are more open to discuss challenges and explore multi-level solutions.  Problem solving and communication is optimized, as each discipline has the opportunity to develop a better appreciation of each other’s roles by discussing the ways that they work with students and the challenges they face. This results in a cohesive approach to supporting the preceptor and preceptee in the clinical environment.

In this interactive workshop facilitators strive to create an environment that encourages participants to share their experiences and to learn from each other.   They are engaged in discussions about their role as student supervisors and introduced to the resources that CAMH has put in place to support them.  They are also provided with opportunities to explore the skills that they will need to effectively enact their role including strategies for:

  • supporting critical thinking
  • promoting learner well-being
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • evaluating learners
  • managing conflict
  • assessing and responding to issues of diversity in learners (e.g. learning styles, generational differences, etc).

Over the years the workshop has evolved in response to participant feedback.    Adult education specialists have and continue to make an invaluable contribution to this process through the design and implementation of an effective evaluation strategy.

We sat down and discussed the evolution of this workshop with its organizers Elizabeth Budd (Acting Manager, Nursing Innovation, Professional Practice Office), Anna Giallonardo (Education Specialist, Education Services), Anita Martin (Nurse Educator, Dual Diagnosis Services), and Maria Reyes (Acting Manager, PHP). They spoke about their evolution as facilitators, dedication to supporting preceptor development, experiences of collaboration with practice and education leaders, and plans for future enhancements to the program.

The interactive interprofessional learning environment created in this workshop sets the stage for student supervisors to learn with, from, and about each other, an approach that has been shown to be key to the interprofessional collaboration that is essential to quality client care.

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