Precepting coordinates an employee’s smooth transition into his/her new role and responsibilities. The program is committed to guiding the employee, enabling him/her to understand the system and standards of practice, and welcoming him/her to the organization. The desired outcome of precepting is a satisfied, effective, efficient employee.
During orientation, new staff develop relationships with their colleagues, and the preceptor is accountable for not only helping the orientee with his/her physical skills and understanding of policies, but also for helping the new orientee find his/her “fit” with the department and the hospital. The preceptor’s role is to assist the orientee to assume increased responsibility for job duties and to develop prioritization and problem-solving skills. The preceptor completes the orientee’s skills checklists and competencies and provides him/her with ongoing, constructive feedback on his/her performance and progress.
Who can be a preceptor?
This individual is a dedicated, experienced role model who voluntarily chooses to share his/her expertise with newly employed staff. Preceptors must have the equivalent of at least one year of part-time employment in their current position. They demonstrate professionalism, knowledge and organizational skills. Preceptors receive training on adult learning principles, Novice to Expert Theory, effective communication elements, providing feedback, and coaching.
The Preceptor Task Force developed the Preceptor Workshop to prepare staff for the responsibility of orienting their newest colleagues to the hospital and the profession. The preceptor must be proficient in his/her job skills and interested in helping new colleagues.
The Preceptor Workshop is held twice annually and helps preceptors turn their interest into skill and confidence, guiding the orientee through his/her adaptation to the hospital, and in many cases, a new role.
Various topics covered in the workshops have included learning styles, roles of the preceptor and orientee, organizing an orientation, adult learning principles, communication and feedback, costs associated with orientation, and development of unit specific “toolboxes” to enhance orientation. Delivery methods of information included small group exercises, role-play illustration of learning, minimal lecture, and group discussions.