Program Session

4 - The Librarian’s Role in Attracting and Caring for Preceptors

Monday, May 29
11:20 AM - 11:35 AM
Room: 603

Objectives: Many health sciences degree programs rely on preceptors to facilitate clinical learning for students. As more degree programs open in a geographic area, and accreditation requirements mandate additional services for preceptors, attracting and retaining qualified preceptors becomes more difficult. Education and support provided by the library and promoting subscribed resources can be one way to attract and maintain preceptors.

Methods: External pressures forced changes to preceptor services. New accreditation requirements came into effect for Pharm D programs; preceptors must now receive “facile access to current scientific literature.” The University of Southern California School of Pharmacy restructured experiential learning, leading to a review of preceptors and their skills. Preceptors desired support for their professional development and curricula to use in clinical scenarios with students. New schools opened in Southern California leading to competition for preceptors. The School partnered with the Norris Medical Library to create further enticements for preceptors in addition to library access, revamp handouts and websites created for preceptors, streamline the method for gaining access, and update library-provided instruction for preceptors. Preceptor use of the new website, volume and type of questions received from preceptors, and turnover of preceptors were used to assess the impact of these changes.

Results: 48 new preceptors were recruited, joining the 300 existing preceptors; no preceptors left the program. Hits on the revised preceptor LibGuide, clicks on links, and downloads of handouts increased slightly over prior year usage, but videos were not viewed at all. In prior years, the majority of preceptor questions focused on requesting and activating personal accounts to access library-licensed resources. The number of questions in late 2016/early 2017 remained the same, but fewer questions focused on access and more questions considered selection and use of resources. Preceptor library use traditionally spikes in spring; additional data will be provided at the conference. 

Conclusion: Additional preceptors were recruited from the community, but it is difficult to connect this to the library’s efforts. Enhancement of library efforts did not significantly change preceptor behaviors with the library and its resources. Despite the lack of the desired impact, building a closer relationship between the library and the School of Pharmacy’s Office of Professional Experience Programs; learning about preceptor needs and how the library’s collection can fulfill these needs; and streamlining the process for preceptors obtaining library-licensed resources were valuable activities to undertake to support the increased number of preceptors. 

Keywords: Pharmacy Preceptors Instruction Public Services Liaison partnerships



Program Session

Amy Chatfield

Information Services Librarian
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California

Amy is a reference and instruction librarian in the Research and Instruction Services section of the Norris Library, and serves as the pharmacy liaison librarian at USC. She has previously worked at the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library as a reference, instruction, and collection development librarian.

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