Effective departmental inductions for doctors in training

An effective induction is a crucial welcome for a doctor in training. When done well, it will encourage them to make the most of the many learning opportunities available, and ensure a smooth and supported transition to working in a complex, often unfamiliar environment.

Below, we detail how Portsmouth's Department of Critical Care handles this within their busy department.

What is the induction?

Portsmouth's Department of Critical Care have evolved their departmental induction programme over the last 12 years to make sure all doctors in training, many who have not previously worked in intensive care medicine (ICM), are informed of all aspects of the department's work.

This helps ensure a smooth and supported transition to working in a complex, often unfamiliar environment with the sickest patients in the hospital, and encourages doctors in training to make the most of the many learning opportunities available.

What the induction involves?

With constraints on time and finances, the induction has evolved into a blended solution of electronic pre-reading and face-to-face materials. There is significant consultant input to the materials and induction delivery. The induction process involves access to an online induction handbook.

New starters have access to the departmental website, which also gives background on the department personnel and its activities. This website includes guidelines, standard operating procedures, and links to rotas, e-journal clubs and pod/video-casts.


Protected time for departmental induction

There is a further two-day, face-to-face, consultant-delivered departmental induction for all doctors in training, in addition to the trust's induction. This time is protected - the service is covered by other existing members of staff or locums that have previously worked in the department.

This section involves orientation to the department, the hospital layout and key areas, equipment and to discuss the logistics of the way the department works. There is also a series of tutorials to cover the basics of ICM and induction on the department's clinical information (including e-prescribing) and IT systems.

Simulation at the departmental induction

There are half days of simulated scenarios to build on the handbook and tutorials which illustrate the basics of dealing with the acutely ill, discuss logistics in the hospital, and issues concerning human factors.

Increased preparedness

The department asks for feedback after each induction, and regularly reviews the processes. Evidence suggests that doctors in training feel better prepared and valued for having this induction.

Our surveys, and those of local and education training boards, also indicate positive perceptions about the department's approaches to induction.

I want to learn more

For further information, contact Matthew Williams at matthew.williams@porthosp.nhs.uk or Steve Mathieu at steve.mathieu@porthosp.nhs.uk.

Who is this page for?
This is for anyone who needs to welcome incoming doctors in training to their department.
Why might this page help you?
A good induction ensures that your incoming doctor in training can make a safe, effective and positive impact on your department.