Field Practicum Course: Key Aspects

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Introduction

The field practicum course is very importance as it enables one to put the theories learnt in class into practice. In the medical field, the practicum course is designed in a special way that enables learners to expand their understanding of the way things are carried out in the hospital. For anyone who desires to have a practical knowledge and understanding of the organization and management of a hospital, it is very important to do the field practicum course. For this reason, I decided to do the course to obtain the site experience that is impartial in the medical field. The field practicum course offers brilliant learners with an opportunity to interact with medical professionals while on work. During the field practicum, learners are able to inquire about all the unclear explanations found in theory (Hernandez et al. 2014). It is the period that learners enhance their skills and gain more confidence in their career. The hands-on training experience enables learners to cover pertinent issues that lecturers cannot explain in class. It is a revelation to most learners who will test their knowledge and level of understanding in their practical exposure. Essentially, the practicum studies play a significant role in summarizing the prolonged theoretical studies. It enables learners to recall and reinforce the values and skills that were acquired for the entire study period (Liley 2002). Most importantly, the field practicum course offers learners with an opportunity to develop interpersonal relationships with professionals of their field of study. It is such an important course that I could not forgo.

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Given the adequate time that was allocated for the field practicum course, I decided to select a study plan that would enable me to have adequate time to take a stringent analysis of the quality of services, the innovation measures, the performance and productivity levels of every department that I visited. The study plan obligated me to take at least a week to study every department. Thereafter, I could develop a summative report of the observations that I made, and I could come up with recommendations and suggestions for improvement.

Recommendations and suggestions

After assessing particular departments, I realized that some issues needed attention. Indeed, some departments had insignificant issues, but others had major issues that needed immediate action. The following recommendations address various issues in various healthcare departments.

Clinic and nutrition department

Besides the possession of social communication skills that are impartial in this department, the clinic and nutrition department ought to have highly skilled professionals. In line with the evolving world, global medical practices are changing drastically. Therefore, there is a need to invest in employee training programs that will enable the workers of the clinic and nutrition program to be at par with the practices in the contemporary world. The training ought to follow a proactive subsystem that will match the objectives with the responsibilities of every employee. Moreover, the clinic and nutrition department should find a way to collect data from various organizations to have the technological knowhow of how other organizations performing similar functions handle their work.

Continuing Medication Education (CME) department

This is a very essential department in any hospital setup as it informs the staff about the current global practices. Therefore, there is a need for this department to have top-notch expertise in finding the latest medical practices. The department should review the leadership of the organization, and emphasize on leadership that considers employee and customer satisfaction. The department should emphasize on the magnitude of change with regard to culture, structure, and strategy. Most importantly, the department should restructure its training modules to match with the current global medical practices.

Pharmacy department

The errors that might occur in the pharmacy and supplies department are inevitable. Therefore, to improve the efficiency of the services offered in this department, it is important to develop a comprehensive personnel rotation plan. The employees in the pharmacy department and those in the supplies department should exchange roles at the end of every year. This approach will bring efficiency, transparency, exposure, and employee motivation. The employees working in this section will have the experience of working in either of the departments, and they can step in for any employee who is absent from work at any particular moment.

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Finance department

The finance department is the heart of any organization as it controls the monies that run the organization. Although the department is organized, there is a need to adopt a performance appraisal that will encourage innovation and independent initiatives. The finance department should budget for monies to reward employees whenever they make exceptional performances. The department should also develop ways of working closely with the healthcare professionals so that they can help in making accurate projections. Most importantly, the department should use the system based cost variation method in allocating monies. This method will enable the department to make sound decisions in budgetary allocations.

Health informatics department

This department deals with technology that is dynamic in the contemporary world. To improve the efficiency of the functionality of this department, it is necessary for the health informatics department to create a dynamic training session on a monthly basis. The trainings will offer the staffs with the opportunity to learn what the outside world is doing in terms of security management. Developing strong relations with companies like Cisco is very important because such companies will teach the staff about information security, management programs, and methods of minimizing human errors.

Human Resource (HR) Department

The HR department that ought to recruit employees should develop a strategy to listen to the suggestions advanced by junior employees. Indeed, some employees are talented, and if trained, they can serve at high positions for the betterment of the hospital. The HR department should find ways to interact with HR professionals working in other hospitals to learn of the methods they employ when recruiting new employees, and the criteria they use to promote employees. Most importantly, the department should develop clearly identified performance standards to be able to evaluate the performance of individual workers (Sharma 2013).

Hospital Information Management and Medical Records Department (IMMRD)

This department is responsible for keeping medical records, and it ought to adopt the mobile technological system. The department is still using the analogue system of keeping records in printed form. It is a high time that the department adopted the digital system of keeping records in soft copy for convenience purposes (Avancha, Baxi & Kotz 2012). It is important for the department to establish training sessions that will coach employees who do not know how to use the information technology systems.

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Nursing department

The nursing role is very overwhelming, and it is very important for the hospital to establish a new way of measuring the productivity of the nurses. The approach of evaluating nurses’ productivity according to the number of patients and the hours they work per day is somewhat inefficient. If the existing system of evaluating nurses’ productivity continues, there should be a specific person in charge of monitoring the number of working hours and the workload. A cost-benefit analysis would be efficient to determine whether the nursing department is making maximum use of the available resources. Most importantly, physicians should be involved in making informed opinions about measuring the productivity of the nurses. It is also important to compare the nursing role in Al Baraha Hospital with other hospitals, and employ the most effective measures of relieving the overwhelmed nurses from their tiring roles.

Prevention and control of infection unit

In a hospital setup, the entire population is predisposed to infections from the ailing patients. Therefore, special considerations are necessary when it comes to the prevention and control of infection unit. The major suggestion for improvement for this unit is allowing the employees of the prevention and control department to take part in workshops and conferences that address the issues of controlling infections. Such workshops will be very efficient in enabling the staff to learn of the current innovations in their field. Moreover, cases of infection should be taken seriously, where; the infected people are given an opportunity to explain the entire processes that lead to their infection. The approach will be efficient in avoiding further infections (Minnaar 2008). Nurses and physicians who are familiar in the field should spare time to train other staff of the risk and methods of preventing infections. The entire exercise of preventing infections will be beneficial to the patients, physicians, nurses, and all staff working in the hospital.

Radiological and physiotherapy departments

A critical analysis of these departments indicated that there is some level of dissatisfaction amongst the workers. The nurses and physicians have wealthy information regarding the ways of improving these departments. It is a high time that the management team offered the physicians and nurses working in these departments a chance to air their views. Indeed, the staffs who come up with feasible suggestions should receive rewards for their imperative ideas (Harris et al. 2014). It is worth noting that the radiological department uses imaging technologies that tend to change form one time to another. It would be very efficient if the workers of the department undergo trainings from one time to another to acquire the knowledge regarding the new imaging technologies. It was noted that the gym and the therapy rooms are considerably small and crowded. Therefore, it would be efficient to expand them so that patients can receive valuable physiotherapy treatments. Moreover, the physiotherapy department is understaffed, and it would be necessary for the human resource department to recruit qualified physiotherapists to relieve the current employees from their overwhelming role of serving many patients at a go. Most importantly, an orientation program for the new workers is necessary, as it would facilitate the turnover rates.

Impacts and implications

As indicated in the clinical and nutrition department, there is a need for the department to be aggressive and be at par with the evolving world. This recommendation will enable the employees to acquire new skills, develop a bond with professionals from other organizations, and develop the conscious of working hard to deliver the best (Soumendu 2011). As per the discussions, the human resource department ought to be courteous enough to have a listening ear to the junior employees. This motivational procedure will inspire the employees to work hard and have their contribution recognized (El-Jardali et al. 2007). The nursing department is overwhelmed with the nursing role. The approach of trying to find feasible solutions to relieving nurses from the overwhelming nursing role is very efficient. The nurses will have an opportunity to work like nurses in other hospitals, and they will deliver their best. Moreover, the approach of recruiting physiotherapists would be very efficient to enhance the quality of services offered in the physiotherapy department. The two approaches will ensure that the employees from these two departments are satisfied with their jobs. They will feel appreciated, and they will tend to work harder and produce quality results than before (Hickson 2013).

The recommendations that the health informatics department ought to be at par with the evolving technological world are very essential (Angst et al. 2011). These motivational suggestions aim at improving the efficacy and efficiency of healthcare services at the hospital. Learning to manage data errors and handle security threats in a great achievement for the health informatics department, as it will be much easy to manage the entire patients’ data. Similarly, the medical records department is obligated to adopt information technology systems in keeping hospital records. These procedures will facilitate the hospital operations. Indeed, the access and retrieval of patients’ data will be very easy, and the patients will not have to wait for prolonged periods for the completion of the registration process. Another department that ought to learn about the newest technology is the radiology department, and indeed, the entire process would enhance functionality and productivity of all the employees (Abujudeh 2012).

The recommendations indicate that the finance department ought to use the system based cost variation method in managing the hospital finances. Indeed, this method would enable the department to manage finances in an efficient manner. The department will be able to employ strategic measures to reduce unnecessary hospital costs and improve the general performance of the hospital staff. The entire exercise will enhance transparency, and the financial professionals will handle hospital funds with much responsiveness (Dunham 2006). Moreover, the motivational incentives will play a great role in enhancing employees’ performance. Although employees may not obtain financial incentives at all times, the incentives will play a great role in enhancing employee performance whenever they are available.

If the CME department undertakes the recommended approaches, the entire hospital staff will learn the latest and most efficient ways of handling fellow employees and customers. With an increase of the level of employee satisfaction, there is no doubt that they will serve customers efficiently, and thus increase the output considerably (Ogrinc & Headrick 2008). The comprehensive personnel rotation program in the pharmacy and supplies department will play a major role in bringing transparency, accountability, and responsibility of one’s actions. The employees who have ill motives will be obligated to act responsibly as they are sure that any other employee is capable of doing their work in their absence or dismissal. The suggestion of preventing and controlling infection is a very efficient measure that advocates that the entire hospital fraternity should focus on prevention rather than cure (Wilson 2006). The recommendation encourages the physicians and the nurses to put aside their pride and purpose on working together to prevent and control infections in the hospital (Hughes 2007).

Conclusions

From the discussions, it is evident that most recommendations insist on trainings and motivational programs. Indeed, the trainings will play a great role in enhancing the productivity of the employees. Moreover, the motivational procedures are just amazing in the way they can influence productivity. Employees who felt that their hard work was unappreciated will always have a reason to smile once someone takes the initiative of recognizing their hard work. They will work harder than before to prove that they are competent, and that they deserve a promotion. Their efforts will benefit the hospital and the patients who are in desperate need of healthcare services. Indeed, technology in the contemporary world is evolving at a very fast rate, and people ought to be dynamic to adopt the latest technology. Adopting the latest technology in all computerized sectors in the hospital would enhance functionality and productivity of all the employees. Most importantly, the spirit of togetherness that arises from the mentioned recommendations is very encouraging as staffs in the hospital will be their brothers’ keepers. People will work in harmony, and they will act responsively to the advantage of the patients who visit the hospital. If the executives of Al Baraha Hospital consider implementing the mentioned recommendations, the healthcare facility will offer the best healthcare services. The overall functionality and operations in the hospital will improve considerably. The number of patients will increase drastically and people will testify of the efficient healthcare services offered in the hospital. The employees will be satisfied, they will deliver their best, and they will not desire to retire from the hospital.

Reflections on the Field practicum experience

The field practicum experience has proved to be of great help in my career. I can attest that I had a lifetime experience from the learning that I obtained from the medical professionals that I was able to meet. Firstly, I learnt that patients have paramount trust on the healthcare professionals, and the worst thing that the professionals can do is to disapprove their trust. I learnt that healthcare administration and management is a very challenging task. The responsibility of managing an entire healthcare facility requires sacrifice of the highest order. The field practicum experience revealed to me that hospital administrators are leaders who are ready to put their pride aside and serve needy people. The theory learnt in class is just but an outlay of the real life experience at the healthcare setup. The entire staff and patients look unto the managers, and they expect the best from them. The managers and administrators are answerable of everything that happens in the hospital. They have to brilliant people who can multitask and ensure that everything is running smoothly in all the departments in the hospital (Ellis & Abbott 2014). They have to be influential people who can make people change their minds when situations are too difficult to handle. With the limited resources that are available, the managers have to develop ways to ensure that there is efficient and impartial allocation of the resources. The managers have to develop efficient ways of ensuring employee and patient satisfaction. Indeed, healthcare administration and management is one of the most challenging roles, and those who intend to serve in such positions should be ready to overcome the countless challenges they will encounter in their career.

References

Abujudeh, H 2012, Quality and safety in radiology, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Angst, C, Devaraj, S, Queenan, C, & Greenwood, B 2011, ‘Performance effects related to the sequence of integration of healthcare technologies’, Production & Operations Management, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 319-333.

Avancha, S, Baxi, A, & Kotz, D 2012, ‘Privacy in mobile technology for personal healthcare’, ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 1-54.

Dunham, J 2006, Health care financial management for nurse managers: merging the heart with the dollar, Jones & Bartlett Learning, New York.

El-Jardali, F., Jamal, D., Abdallah, A., & Kassak, K 2007, ‘Human resources for health planning and management in the Eastern Mediterranean region: facts, gaps and forward thinking for research and policy’, Human Resources for Health, vol. 5, no. 9, pp. 23-97.

Ellis, P, & Abbott, J 2014, ‘Leadership and management skills in health care’, British Journal Of Cardiac Nursing, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 96-99.

Harris, M, von Keudell, A, McMahon, G, & Bierer, B 2014, ‘Physician self-assessment of leadership skills’, Physician Executive, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 30-36.

Hernandez, K, Bejarano, S, Reyes, F, Chavez, M, & Mata, H 2014, ‘Experience preferred insights from our newest public health professionals on how internships/practicum promote career development’, Health Promotion Practice, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 95-99.

Hickson, M 2013, Research handbook for health care professionals, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Hughes, M 2007, The essentials of performance analysis: an introduction, Routledge, New York.

Liley, D 2002, ‘Bridging the gap between classroom and practicum: graduate social work students in health care with older adults’, Journal Of Gerontological Social Work, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 203-217.

Minnaar, A 2008, Infection control made easy: a hospital guide for health professionals, Juta and Company Ltd, Boston.

Ogrinc, G. & Headrick, L 2008, Fundamentals of health care improvement: a guide to improving your patients’ care. Joint Commission Resources, New York.

Sharma, D 2013, Hospital administration and human resource management, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi.

Soumendu, B, 2011. ‘Commitment, involvement, and satisfaction as predictors of employee performance’, South Asian Journal of Management, vol.18, no. 2, pp. 90-95.

Wilson, J 2006, Infection control in clinical practice, Elsevier Health Sciences, New York.

Appendix 1: Study Plan

Week/Day Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Week 1:
Clinic and nutrition
Quality
  • Measuring and monitoring quality of services
  • Determining if quality standards are consistently applied
Innovation
  • Monitoring the efficiency of new processes
  • Noting examples of new innovations
  • Recognizing creativity
Performance
  • Measuring and monitoring performance
  • Comparing performance across similar organizations and across departments
  • Measuring outcome
Productivity
  • Measuring the outputs depending on individuals, units, equipment, and department
Report writing
  • Developing a summative report of the happenings of the week
  • Putting forward recommendations and suggestions for improvement
Week 2:
CME
Week 3:Pharmacy
Week 4:Finance
Week 5:Health informatics
Week 6:Human Resource
Week 7: Nursing
Week 8:Prevention and control of infection
Week 9:Radiology and Physiotherapy

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