Preceptors contribute to the future of health care by mentoring and coaching the next generation of professionals, and play a critical role in the training SAIT's School of Health and Safety provides.
For more information on becoming a clinical partner, please contact Jennifer Brown, Allied Health Practicum Coordinator.
Why preceptorship is valuable
"Learners value preceptors who possess broad knowledge of their field of expertise, but even more so, learners value preceptors who can explain complex material in a manner that is simple and concise. A preceptor demonstrates their knowledge as they discuss current developments, reveal broad readings, discuss divergent points of view, relates topics to other disciplines and can direct students to useful literature in the field."
(Stritter & Baker, 1982)
Our students receive many benefits while on their practicum, training and working alongside a preceptor:
- Participate in a variety of settings with patients and equipment
- Experience the "real world" of practice
- Socialization into the profession
- Gain competence and confidence
- Investigate employment opportunities
- Begin the transition from the role of student to graduate to new employee
Learners weigh in:
"My preceptor was very approachable. If you had a question, she would have an answer for you and not make it feel like it was something you should know. Also, if there was something she couldn't answer, she had no problem admitting that and then helping you find out."
"My practicum, thus far, has been a really good experience and I have been treated very kindly; I was even made to feel like part of the team rather than 'the student'. I was also encouraged to express whether or not a situation or schedule was working for me. They were very flexible and accommodating, which was much appreciated!"
Faculty also benefit from liaising with preceptors and practicum students:
- Network with a variety of preceptors and health care agencies
- Keep up to date on the changes of the profession through the preceptors
- Opportunity to facilitate and encourage preceptor and student growth
- Gain an understanding of health care delivery systems in the community
- Build ongoing relationships with health care agencies in the community
Faculty weigh in:
"The value of preceptorship is to take you back to the time that you were a student. It re-focuses our attention to that of the learner, not the seasoned veteran health care professional. Through our preceptor courses, we learn how to transfer our vast amount of knowledge and experience to those students who will someday take our places in the health care field. I feel that I would not have been confident to teach today's students at SAIT without my preceptor courses behind me." (Former preceptor, current SAIT Instructor)
"As a SAIT faculty member, I have the opportunity to liaise with the preceptors, which allows me to keep up on current changes in my own profession and to build relationships through preceptor meetings and training sessions. By working closely with the practicum sites, I have the chance to see the how the preceptor is encouraging and developing the learner to become the next generation of health care professionals and this is exciting."
Preceptors benefit too
There are many personal and professional satisfactions that come with being a preceptor:
- Professional involvement in the teaching/learning process
- Validates and reinforces professional value and practice
- Stimulates innovative and improved practice
- Opportunity to step back and appreciate own contribution to the profession
- Contributions to future health care through influencing a student's practice
- Opportunity to network with other preceptors
Preceptors weigh in:
"I think, as a preceptor, I am passing on something of value to my students. I am passing on knowledge that not all people have. Some days I take my knowledge for granted and teaching new professionals reminds me the value of the things I have learned from my years of experience. Being a preceptor reminds me to look at things from a different perspective and with fresh eyes."
"The position of preceptor has offered me a daily challenge in dealing with both the students and the work; rarely is the work boring. It has also forced me to learn the work thoroughly and to continue learning all aspects of the department; the student inadvertently pushes me to do better.
SAIT's School of Health and Public Safety is offering a 20-hour course designed to meet the needs of novice and intermediate preceptors, as well as to provide a refresher for more experienced preceptors. You will be enrolled in the course for a three year term which allows for flexibility to attain any mandatory continuing competency requirements and the time to apply the content, or to discuss situations with other preceptors in the field.
Course topics include:
- Roles of the preceptor
- Planning and organizing learning experiences
- Precepting strategies and methods
- Assessment techniques
- Communication strategies
- Conflict management
Professional development credits
Each professional association determines the number of credits granted for professional development. Contact the SAIT Instructor of your profession for details.
Practicum instructor contacts:
- Dental Assisting: Michelle Shaben, Anna King, Patricia Stoness or Kim Penner
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Valerie West, Mark Rogers, Jennifer Chaudhary, Shannon Thomsen
- Emergency Medical Technician: Sheldon Thunstrom
- Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic: Gary Weselosky
- Health Information Management: Stephanie Clack or Lisa Proudfoot
- Medical Device Reprocessing Technician: Debbie Bloch or Bushra Ihtasham
- Medical Laboratory Assistant: Lori Cucheron
- Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk: Lori Hanninen
- Medical Laboratory Technology: Keri Huwald
- Medical Radiologic Technology: Sidsel Pederson, Heather Tye or Tammy Genier
- Nuclear Medicine Technology: Jessica Rutherford or Glenda Laser
- Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant: Nancy Pullan or Jennifer Stodler
- Respiratory Therapy: Meredith Patey, Jimmy Joy or Jennifer Stefura
Registration is on-going throughout the year. There are two ways to register:
- If you are precepting for a program in the School of Health and Public Safety, please contact the SAIT Practicum Instructor for your discipline. They will assist you with course information and registration details.
- If you are interested in taking the PDEV 190 course and do not assist in precepting Health and Public Safety students, please call 403.284.SAIT to register for a fee of $50.
Preceptor Education Day
Our annual Preceptor Education Day provides the opportunity for our preceptors to expand on their skills, share best teaching practices and network with other health care providers.
Throughout a full-day of speaker and breakout sessions, attendees gain new strategies and knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Below are some of the sessions from our May 2018 event.
Adult leaners and learning styles: Colleen Kawalilak
Our work and learning environments and the adult learners we are privileged to teach, mentor, and coach are becoming increasingly more diverse. Engaging with and responding to diversity can be challenging — however, it provides rich opportunities to deepen our own learning and explore different ways to respond to an array of learning needs.
Explore some of our assumptions about adult learners, advance your understanding of opportunities and challenges related to the role of preceptor, and discuss strategies for engaging with differences.
Words matter! Providing development feedback in practicum: Janet Fowler and Jimmy Joy
Review how preceptors can best support students by effectively delivering observable performance feedback and supporting them in their reflection of the feedback for performance goal development. Review real-world examples of effective feedback and look at how students may perceive it.
Braving together: Jacqueline Lyndon
Focus on the value of teamwork and why we need each other to survive, every day! Explore the challenges of teamwork, as well as the rewards of working alongside one another.
Team dynamics are reviewed and a simulation illustrates why going alone is not always our wisest choice. As the African proverb says "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
The fitness curve ball for health care professionals: Tim Borys
Life regularly throws us curve balls that can derail our best intentions. These curve balls are the challenges, barriers, beliefs, myths, knowledge gaps, and tough situations we (and our clients) face each day.
This session will help you see these curve balls through the four pillars of personal performance, and provide simple tools to help you and your clients hit a grand slam in health and happiness.
Understanding the social media generation: Dr. Neil Parker
The upcoming generation is the first to grow up fully immersed in a mobile social media environment. This generation's unprecedented adoption of social media is fundamentally changing their peer relationships, their view of themselves, and their perceptions of the world.
Dr. Parker's presentation explores the impact of social media on the mental health and personality of adolescents and young adults. It also includes approaches for supervisors and parents to deal with the unique challenges associated with the self-confidence and self-concept found in the "social-media generation."
While on practicum, students in SAIT's health and wellness studies programs work with experienced professionals in the various disciplines. These partners currently include:
- Alberta Health Services
- BC Interior Health Authority
- Blair, Stubbs & Associates
- Calgary Lab Services
- Canada Diagnostic Centres
- Central Alberta Medical Imaging Services
- Central Health Authority Newfoundland
- Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority Newfoundland
- EFW Radiology
- Health PEI
- Horizon Health, New Brunswick
- Radiology Associates
- Saskatchewan Health Authority
- Vancouver Island Health Authority
- Western Health Authority Newfoundland
- Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
- Diagnostic centres and medical laboratories throughout Canada
- Fire, ambulance and emergency medical services in rural and urban Alberta communities
- Fitness and community recreation facilities
- Community pharmacies
- Private dentists and physicians throughout Alberta