- Put the student at ease. Be friendly.
- Provide an orientation schedule. Include times, and name(s) of person responsible.
- Provide handouts and include:
- A written list of staff with whom the student will have frequent contact. Include telephone extension numbers for quick reference.
- Location of work areas, offices of instructors, supervisors, restrooms, etc.
- Expectations of free time (coffee breaks, lunch).
- Important information for easy reference. The student cannot retain everything at once. *See below.
- Introduce staff, referring to a list when appropriate. Help the student to take particular notice of individuals who may be able to provide future assistance. Be personable and include items of interest: hobbies, personalities, strengths.
- Reassure the student that although grades are given, evaluations are used to determine strengths and weaknesses with the emphasis on learning rather than on grading.
- Encourage the student to feel comfortable about asking questions. Solicit questions from the student from time to time throughout the first few days.
*You may want to develop an in-house student orientation manual for the student’s reference. See next page for ideas of what to include in such a manual.
Once the student has arrived, the challenge of trying to organize a very confusing day begins. A written in-house orientation manual may help by providing the student with concrete written and visual examples of how they are to function in your facility and of important policies, procedures, and philosophies of your department. Possible items to include are:
- Expectations of the student; behavioral objectives
- Emergency procedures
- Telephone and paging system (with numbers)
- Patient charging system
- Documentation: completed forms, samples of progress notes, any unique requirements
- Approved medical abbreviation list
- Accident/incident report forms
- Policies and procedures
- Facility organization chart
- Location of equipment and supplies available
- Chain of command – who is responsible to whom
- Patient scheduling system
- Learning experiences available in your facility
- Responsibilities and training background of supportive personnel
Try to arrange these items in order of exposure. Detail the components with examples and/or samples. This manual should be available for reference throughout the clinical experience to answer student’s questions.
Do you have any special features in your department which should be mentioned in this manual? For example; information on referring physicians, (i.e., specialty area, how and when to contact, etc.) or current research projects, specialty areas of the staff, etc.