This study explored preceptor and student related issues reported in pharmacy experiential education settings and solutions that experiential education administrators (EEAs) applied to inform a process to manage these challenges.
This mixed-methods study was conducted in two phases. In phase one, five EEAs from three schools of pharmacy collected quantitative and qualitative data over a two-year period on issues reported by students and preceptors and the solutions EEAs employed. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were used to analyze quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Interviews with six EEAs from four schools were completed in phase two. An additional school was added in phase two. Open coding, pattern coding, and summative analysis were completed on interview data.
Preceptors and students reported 156 and 65 issues, respectively. The most common issues reported were student reliability/responsibility (22, 14%) and preceptor communication (13, 20%). The most frequently applied solutions were coach preceptor (51, 24%) and meet with student (20, 24%). Interviews revealed more information about the strategies EEAs used. Approaches included reactive responses such as talking to and coaching preceptors or students. Preventative strategies were desired, such as tracking data and training.
Results informed two approaches that EEAs can employ to resolve student and preceptor issues. In the proactive process, issues are tracked to inform student and preceptor development. The reactive approach involves meeting with the preceptor or student, gathering information from both parties, coaching the preceptor or student, and involving other administrators as needed for serious concerns.