Community, hospital and industry preceptor perceptions of their role in experiential placements- the need for standardization of preceptor responsibilities and evaluations on students

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Journal Article
Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 2018, 10 (11), pp. 1447 - 1455
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© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Introduction: Appropriate evaluation processes are important in experiential placements. With the growing diversity between placements, consideration for standardization of some of these processes would be beneficial, particularly for those skills that are transferable regardless of the placement type. The objectives of this study was: (1) to explore the experiences, evaluation strategies, and feedback processes of Australian preceptor pharmacists from three primary experiential areas (community, hospital, and industry) in providing student placements; and (2) to inform the future development of the current local experiential program and future extended international experiential programs. Methods: A qualitative, exploratory study with three preceptor focus groups (community, hospital, and industry) were conducted, recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using Bazeley's “describe – compare – relate” method for thematic analysis. Results: There were a total of 16 participants. Four themes emerged: (1) motivation and purpose of being a preceptor; (2) expectations of students and the university; (3) organizational planning and conduct of experiential placements; and (4) importance of appropriate evaluation and feedback processes to include evaluation of interpersonal skills, which were considered by all focus group members as highly desirable for future employability. Conclusions: The need for standardized processes across different experiential placements, although difficult given the diversity, is important particularly with respect to evaluation and feedback. As interpersonal attributes are transferable and desirable for all types of experiential settings including rural and international environments, standardizing the evaluation of students to include these could be beneficial and applicable for students on local experiential placements and/or cross globally on international experiential placements.
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