The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Kenneth Miller, Linda Cornman, Uma Bhatt, Bryn Surgernor; Respiratory Care, LVHN, Allentown, PA

Introduction: Historically, the training of new employees and clinical instruction was assigned to veteran therapists, or those staff with a “manageable” workload. These ‘veteran’ staff were given minimal formal training, (often of the trial and error approach), or a simple written structure format provided by departmental management for guidance as preceptors. This practice worked well when the orientation process included one or two new employees, or a couple of students. Recently, based on the increasing demands for more respiratory therapists, the number of new employees and students has blossomed. The need for well-educated bedside teachers has become paramount in the ever increasing technologic and ideological pace of respiratory care clinical management. Methods: To address these issues, our Respiratory Care Department formalized its preceptor process. An on-line survey was conducted to receive feedback on the current orientation process and preceptor role understanding. Based on feedback, a more structured preceptor model was instituted to address the increasing demands. Led by departmental educational leadership, a scheduled group of formal educational sessions were conducted. Topics included were issues and concerns that arise during the orientation process, a review of adult learning principles from the Neglected Learner: The Adult Learner by Malcolm Knowles, and the revision of the orientation process and booklet. Also, documentation of both the preceptor and orientee were formalized and encouraged with the development of an on-line preceptor/orientee form. Clinical instruction was addressed by reviewing concepts and text of traditional aspects of critical thinking theories. A formal preceptor evaluation form was developed. Results: The following was pre and post survey results: Conclusion: The development of a formalized preceptor model has improved the orientation process and enhanced the clinical rotations for our future professionals. The preceptors now a have better vision of their roles and responsibilities. Sponsored Research - None Preceptor Pre/Post Assessment Survey