Author: Dana Church

Empowering Preceptors and Students in Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes: The PREP LTC eLearning Course

Training preceptors and students. Preceptors are essential in shaping the next generation of healthcare professionals in Ontario. The long-term care (LTC) sector is no exception with specialized training requirements for team members working in a home. To meet these requirements, the Preceptor Resource and Education Program in Long-Term Care (PREP LTC) has created an online course specifically tailored for LTC home preceptors, students, and team members. The tailored curriculum addresses the unique nature of LTC settings, preparing learners with knowledge, skills, and resources on topics related to clinical student placements in LTC. Through interactive modules and real-world simulations, learners gain a deeper understanding of best practices in mentoring, communication strategies, and conflict resolution.

 

Impacting preceptor preparedness and confidence. First launched in 2022, the PREP LTC eLearning Course is already making a difference for preceptors and students completing their placements in LTC. As reported in PREP LTC’s 2022-2023’s Impact Report, 79% of LTC homes that completed the PREP LTC eLearning Course observed an increase in team members’ preparedness and confidence to precept students. Preceptors also appreciate the enhanced skills they gained through the course and the fact they can apply these skills directly to their day-to-day practice.

“I would like to send [a] quick thank you for the opportunity to take the PREP LTC certificate course. I learnt a great deal completing the course. Reviewing all modules will increase my knowledge further. There are skill sets in the course that I can begin to put into practice now as I continue my professional growth. This course has given me another tool to add to my knowledge toolbox which is greatly appreciated” – LTC Home Preceptor

 

Impacting student mentorship and resident care. The training preceptors received from the PREP LTC eLearning Course has also had a positive impact on students and residents. Students have indicated they benefit from a richer learning experience and gain more insights into LTC that traditional clinical training sometimes overlooks. One important insight is the strong relationships that must develop between residents and team members to deliver quality care.

I was able to relate and reflect on how these things were occurring in my LTC placement. I feel fortunate to have a fantastic preceptor who has gained the trust and respect of each of her residents. She maintains positive relationships with her colleagues encouraging collaboration and teamwork for the betterment of each resident.” – PSW Student

 

Impacting culture change in LTC. Investing in preceptor training is a strategic enabler for LTC homes that are creating a working environment where team members can thrive and are empowered to deliver the highest quality of care to their residents. A culture of continuous learning where learners share their newfound knowledge and skills with their colleagues can enhance collaboration and communication and foster a sense of shared purpose among team members. The result is a more cohesive and empowered healthcare team committed to delivering outstanding resident care in the LTC sector.

“The eLearning course is just as beneficial for administrative staff as it is for preceptors. It highlighted areas where we need to ‘step-up’ in order to help preceptors and students along the path of success” – Staff Training Specialist in LTC

 

Meeting LTC homes where they are. The PREP LTC eLearning Course is available for FREE to any Ontario LTC home team member. Its online format allows learners to complete it anytime, anywhere, providing flexibility to suit their schedule. The PREP LTC initiative also provides backfill funding to clinical preceptors who complete the course and whose LTC home has enrolled in PREP LTC. A dedicated Regional Engagement Liaison can provide a suite of resources – in addition to the PREP LTC eLearning Course – that is specifically tailored for the LTC sector. 

 

Interested in learning more? Visit the PREP LTC website or speak with your Regional Engagement Liaison today!

 

Acknowledgement

PREP LTC is led by the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI) at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging in collaboration with the Ontario CLRI teams at Baycrest Academy for Research and Education and Bruyère Research Institute. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.

 

The PREP LTC eLearning course was developed by the Ontario CLRI at Baycrest Academy for Research and Education and is built on the success of the Ministry-funded Preceptor Education Program (PEP) in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario and with Fanshawe College School of Nursing.