Case Management Insider

Educating and orienting the new staff

By Toni Cesta, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice President
Lutheran Medical Center
Brooklyn, NY

Orientation should be geared to the experiential level of the new staff. The novice case manager will require a different orientation than the experienced case manager. You will need to determine this based on an assessment of the new staff member. Your ability to prepare your new staff member for their role will play a part in their retention down the road.

The orientee should have weekly goals established that are in writing. These goals should be reviewed with the employee, the preceptor, and supervisor each week. By following this process, the preceptor and supervisor will be able to determine whether components of the orientation need to be repeated and/or reinforced.

Key points to consider when individualizing orientation:

  • Adopt the educational topics to the new employee's experience.
  • Include didactic as well as precepted experiences.
  • Develop an orientation that addresses the:

— competencies;

— specialty knowledge: patient flow, coordination and facilitation of care, utilization management, discharge planning, and any other roles relevant to your department.

  • Provide copies of the department's policies and procedures.
  • Provide any reference materials they may need such as review criteria, choice lists, etc.
  • Gear the length of the orientation to the learning needs of the person being orientated:

— Provide a written test to determine their baseline level of knowledge.

— Consider their years of experience as well as what types of experience they have.

— Categorize them as novice or expert.

  • Be prepared to extend the orientation if necessary

(Editor's note: Next month, we'll cover transitioning from staff nurse to case manager.)