The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

a Performance Improvement Program to Facilitate Preceptor Evaluation

Stanley Baldwin, MBA, RCP, RRT, Alan Alipoon, BS, RCP, RRT, Robert Roy, RCP, RRT, Michael H. Terry, RCP, RRT, Leo Langga, BS, RCP, RRT, -NPS, Michael Lum, BS, RCP, RRT.

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, California.

Background: In the Respiratory Care orientation program, orientees and preceptors routinely evaluate each other. Rarely did preceptors receive feedback from their evaluation unless the evaluations reflected information that was unfavorable. To improve the evaluation process, we decided to tabulate the preceptor scores using a spreadsheet and post all the scores quarterly. Each preceptor was assigned a random identifying number, which could only be identified by the individual preceptor. All preceptor scores were posted and ranked utilizing the random identifying numbers to maintain anonymity. We hypothesized that this visual comparison would motivate preceptors that  ranked lower in comparison to their peers. This would also validate and continue to provide positive reinforcement to preceptors who were ranked high. Preceptors were educated on the new ranking system and the importance of the affective domain of learning. The preceptor's pivotal role in facilitating the orientee transition, socialization and assimilation into the institutional milieu was stressed during the educational meeting.

Method: The evaluation instrument was a five-point Likert scale with a score of one being "Poor", a score of two "Fair", a score of three "Good", a score of four "Very Good" and score of five "Excellent". The criteria for evaluation were: "Preceptor Feedback", "Preceptor Teaching Ability", "Preceptee Encouraged To Ask Questions", "Preceptor Always Provided A Demonstration Before Requiring Return Demonstration", and "Preceptor Available During Orientee Assigned Workloads". All five scores were averaged to summarize the overall evaluation of each preceptor. Thirty-two preceptor evaluation scores were randomly selected before and after the implementation of the new evaluation process. All scores were an overall average of each survey instrument.

Results: See table 1 below. The mean and standard deviation were calculated for each sample. The mean sample scores increased from 4.29 to 4.46 reflecting a six percent improvement.

Table 1 - Preceptor Evaluation Score

January - March 2006 (pre-implementation) April - May 2006 (post-implementation)
Mean = 4.29 Mean = 4.46
Stdev = 0.62 Stdev = 0.67
n = 32 n = 32

Conclusion:  The implementation of a performance improvement change to increase preceptor feedback and performance resulted in a six percent improvement in preceptor survey scores. The new mean score of 4.46 ranks as "Very Good" compared to the highest score attainable of 5 "Excellent" on the Likert scale.

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