Philosophy of Clinical Evaluation

Philosophyof Clinical Evaluation

Philosophyof clinical evaluation

Clinicallearning is aimed at knowledge application, skill acquisition, andprofessional development (Bradshaw &amp Lowenstein, 2013). Theinstructor should be aware of the didactic aspects and informationthat students obtain so that they can provide parallel opportunitiesfor students to apply the knowledge. In nursing students are led inpracticing and improving patient care skills, and they needphilosophical guidance in valuing the skills. By philosophicallyrecognizing the importance of a skill and performing it safely andefficiently, students will increase confidence and their abilities toprovide direct patient care (Watson, 2008). Clinical instructors alsohelp students understand and respect the uniqueness of each clientand family in order to individualize holistic care.

Possibleperformance values biases likely to influence observation

Ona typical scale, an instructor is likely to use the view of purposeas a value that should guide every clinician, including nurses. Inthe instructor’s perspective, the view of purpose should guideclinical learning experience to the degree that learners manage torelate it in each decision they make. The three common purposes thatcreate the value system through which students are likely to bejudged are (Billings &amp Halstead, 2013): (1) the ability to applytheoretical concepts in clinical practice (2) experience actualpatient situations and (3) see and implement professional roles. Based on the chosen perspective, the instructor uses these values toselect the agency or unit and plans the type of clinical assignmentsthat best suits the students. The realism of clinical assignments andactivities brings more benefits to any of the three values above.Therefore, while observing students’ progress, the instructor willuse the three values to adopt a philosophical stance that they wouldblend with specific goals. Some of the goals that an instructor caninclude in student assignment are:

  1. The students to learn the patient and provide individualized care

  2. Students to learn and apply the content area and practice a variety of care activities in a particular setting

  3. Students should learn the roles they would play as staff members, practitioners, and health administrators.

Inthe event that students do not fulfill the performance valueshighlighted above, the instructors may as well assume that they havenot achieved the set learning goals. The imperative is for everyinstructor to have a guiding philosophy based on conventional nursingpractice that aims to prepare the student as a competent clinicalpractitioner rather than a rote learner (Pellegrino, 2011). Being astudent focused philosophy, view of purpose as an instructor’svalue system values empowerment as part of the entire teachingapproach. The aims of this philosophy are to inculcate a sense ofresponsibility in learners, authority, and accountability in novicepractitioners.

Principlesof giving feedback to students

Inclinical practice an instructor should focus on giving feedbackpromptly and continuous feedback to students. Feedback that takesthis form is referred to as formative evaluation because it enablesthem to improve their performance. Therefore, clinical practice hasfive main principles that guide the way instructors should givefeedback to students. They include (In Oermann, 2015):

  1. Precise, specific, and instructional: by being precise, specific, and instructional the feedback should not use general terms or phrases such as “the paper lacks content,” or “your approach to assignments and practical evaluations need to improve.” Instead, the instructor should use specific words and clauses that identify the specific skills and knowledge the student lacks. After identifying them, the instructor should also provide suggestions of how the student should compensate for the missing skills.

  2. Delivery using varied and relevant modes: The instructors can use oral, written, or procedural delivery modes. With oral feedback, the instructor describes the observations they made about the student, explains what and how the student should do differently, and shares other suggestions about the clinical situation. However, most students prefer dialogue engagements as a way of giving feedback to mere oral explanations. In some cases, written modes are relevant especially where students are expected to write reports. Written comments should also follow the same procedure of being precise, specific, and instructional. The student can then practice the skill under the guidance of the instructor.

  3. Prompt delivery: The instructor should give feedback to students at the time of learning or shortly after. Time of essence because learners need to promptly respond to the knowledge and skill deficiencies the instructor identifies. The longer the time between the performance and feedback, the less effective it is because they will have forgotten the specific issues raised by the instructor.

  4. The response should be individualized: learners need varying degrees of feedback and positive reinforcement during the learning process especially in the clinical setting. As the learner becomes more clinically competent, they are able to assess their own performance during the learning process.

  5. Feedback should be given to students in private: the instructor should be sensitive to the setting in which they deliver feedback to students. The setting should be as private as possible and the instructor should be sensitive to the feelings of students.


Philosophical approach to teaching and role assumption by educatorsare subtle, yet they enhance more complex, high-order learning. Morespecifically, the instructor should focus on empowerment by applyingthe above philosophy and the principles of feedback. The principlesof giving feedback to students should be encouraging so that learnerscan have the confidence and independence during learning. Feedback isactually an opportunity for the learner to gin more knowledge andrefine their skills.


Billings,D. M., &amp Halstead, J. A. (2013). Teachingin nursing: A guide for faculty.Elsevier Health Sciences.

Bradshaw,M., &amp Lowenstein, A. (2013). Innovativeteaching strategies in nursing and related health professions.Jones &amp Bartlett Publishers.

InOermann, M. H. (2015). Teachingin nursing and role of the educator: The complete guide to bestpractice in teaching, evaluation, and curriculum development.

Pellegrino,E. D. (2011). A philosophical basis of medical practice: toward aphilosophy and ethic of the healing professions.

Watson,J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (revisededition). Caringin nursing classics: An essential resource,243-264.