Why Orientation is Crucial in Competency-Based Clinical Experience
The University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine is a competency-based program (for more information about competency-based education, see the previous post on this Blog.) The college has spent a lot of time determining competencies for each level of training, but that is only the first step. The next step is Gap Analysis –determining the difference between where the individual student is, and where they need to be at the conclusion of the course, year and their training if the student is to meet the competency requirement.
The Orientation to Clinical Experience is the ideal place to perform a Gap Analysis. Not performing a gap analysis means repeating material that the student may already know well, leading to an invalid assessments because the student will be assessed at a high level but won’t have learned anything. On the other hand, other areas where the student has less knowledge/skill will go unidentified and the student may be confronted with their lack of skill in a less forgiving environment. The following four steps will help improve the preceptor and the student’s experience.
1. Determine the competencies expected for the student’s time in your office or on your ward. This step is usually predetermined by the medical department, but the preceptor needs to think about what competencies he/she feels comfortable teaching.
2. Discuss where the student currently is in the development of the competencies. Ideally the student will arrive in your office with a description of what they have learned/performed previously.
3. Determine internal and external forces that might influence how much the student can achieve in the time/environment available.
4. Decide on the strategies and tactics that will be used to assist the student in meeting the competency requirements.
For more information on student orientation to clinical experience attend a workshop through Educational Support and Development on Preparing to Teach.