AN EVALUATION OF PRECEPTORS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE
The practicum term is essentially the most valuable component in the Health Management degree program at Ryerson University. During the practicum term, students are placed in working environments and required to develop and complete health care management projects which satisfy the schools requirements and the host organizations initiatives. On-site preceptors play a monumental role in the practicum term by guiding, supporting and encouraging students to apply theoretical learning to real life practice. Understanding preceptor’s perceptions of the practicum experience is imperative to continually improve the practicum process and ensure the students, faculty and preceptors continue to reap the personal and professional benefits. The purpose of this study was to review retrospective surveys that were administered to preceptors working with Ryerson students from the School of Health Services Management from January 2007 through to and including January 2011 academic terms.
Despite the challenges inherit in participating as a preceptor, the value in the experience has been deemed both pleasurable and enjoyable by the preceptors involved in Ryerson’s practicum program. Other findings indicated that the majority of preceptors were highly impressed by the student’s attitude, professionalism, work ethic and final deliverables (written report and or presentations). Overall, it was well communicated in the feedback from the preceptors that the student’s projects were deemed both valuable and useful to the host organizations; in several cases steering health care management decisions on site. Furthermore, suggestions and recommendations from the preceptors highlighted the gap in support, communication and involvement from the faculty at Ryerson University.