Resident orientation made easy

Residency Program Insider, July 1, 2008

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A comprehensive, well-planned, and well-organized orientation for incoming house staff is invaluable both to the new trainees and the program personnel as well. It will get your new residents off to a good strong start in their training and will save you much aggravation in the months to come.

Usually your institution will have some sort of general orientation for all incoming house staff. This house-wide orientation may cover such topics as hospital policies and procedures, mandatory training requirements, benefits enrollment, issuance of identification badges, parking, pagers, and other miscellany common to all house staff.

In addition, the program should schedule its own orientation to supplement the general orientation with information your new trainees will need as they begin training in your particular program. The department orientation is much more focused. It may even continue for days or weeks with a variety of speakers until all topics are covered. Typical orientation topics may include the following:

  • Program policies and procedures
  • Program goals and objectives
  • Instructions on all information systems the trainees will be using (along with issuance of user IDs and passwords)
  • Compliance and risk management training
  • Rotation, call, and vacation scheduling
  • Photographs
  • Issuance of educational materials or other items needed by your trainees
  • Documentation and portfolio instruction
  • Evaluation process
  • Specific orientation to the different services where they rotate

Appropriate program personnel, including the coordinator and the chief residents, should participate in this program orientation. Along with covering all the required topics, it's also nice to have the chair make some welcoming remarks, provide breakfast and/or lunch, hand out "freebies," etc., as they begin their training. The house staff may want to arrange a welcome party or picnic of some type for their new colleagues as well.

The above is an except from The Residency Coordinator's Handbook, by Dianna Otterstad, BA.

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