240519 Practicum made practical: Practicum as professional and workforce development in Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's Department of Community Health Sciences (CHS)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:08 PM

Shokufeh M. Ramirez, MPH , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Jeanette H. Magnus, MD, PhD , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Maya Begalieva, PhD , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Students complete a 300-hour practicum, “experience working in a PH (public health) organization on practical PH issues,” as part of their MPH requirements. CHS has enhanced the workforce development aspect of the practicum for graduating students and current practitioners.

The student develops learning objectives addressing specific crosscutting PH competencies. Approved by their academic advisor and PH organization preceptor, these help guide the practicum and serve as a learning contract with the host organization.

Since 2003, CHS has hosted a semester end poster session for graduating students to present their practicum experience. Students not presenting learn more about practicum possibilities across the world. Graduating students learn how to make a poster and present it, practicing their communication skills and professionalism and better preparing them for the workforce. Preceptors are also invited to this opportunity for networking with faculty, other organizations, and students.

Several preceptors have provided numerous opportunities for our students, and have served as key informants to advance our educational programs. In the spring of 2010, we piloted for them a workshop intended to increase preceptor efficacy, addressing concepts related to management of students and mentoring. Topics included a profile of our students, the PH competencies, practicum requirements, negotiating a successful working relationship, self-reflection, and role play of common challenges and potential solutions. Feedback on the workshop was positive; preceptors feel more comfortable acting in this capacity and understand the role they may play as a mentor. It will be repeated and instituted as a semiannual event.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe two activities schools of public health can implement to increase the practical value of students' practicum experiences.

Keywords: Workforce, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I organized one of the activities described and contribute to the other.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.