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Philosophy of Clinical Evaluation to Use in Teaching

The philosophy of clinical evaluation used differs between different individuals and trainers in nursing. The first component of the philosophy used in the clinical evaluation is the definition of the clinical environment. According to Smith and Castanelli (2015), the clinical environment used for training and evaluation should be student-friendly. Additionally, trainers should ensure that the learning environment remains favorable for these students as they are taught some of the necessary skills. The trainer needs to employ teaching strategies that convey current nursing theories and knowledge.

The teaching methods that could be used in teaching should encourage the growth of these students. Policies utilized in training should also convey the best practices in nursing. Clinical reasoning is important in the development of policies used in nursing research and evaluation. Therefore, the students should be encouraged to make clinical decisions that favor their learning and encourage the use of simulation. In the third part of the philosophy of clinical evaluation, students will be evaluated to assess their knowledge of basic concepts. The evaluation includes the use of scenarios, role-playing, and feedback from students. In addition, the other types of evaluations that may be utilized include observations of the clinical work of these students.

Values and Biases

Personal values and biases about clinical performance that may be crucial in the observations of students include personal and professional backgrounds. Some of the personal experiences that influence the observation of students include the past relationship with patients and past grief. According to researchers, the experience of grief in patient management affects the perceptions and attitudes of nursing staff (Frühauf, Figlioli, Oehler, & Caspar, 2015). Additionally, the performance of these individuals is dependent on the number of patients managed and their respective conditions.

The other bias that may influence the personal decision and observations of students in the clinical performance is that training background. Personal experience in training is likely to influence the observations of students in clinical performance. Clinical nursing skills gained throughout the years are likely to influence how the students perform in the observations. If they replicate the skills learned, these students are likely to get a good assessment. However, students that do not replicate the skills and theories learned in clinical practice are likely to get poor scores in the assessment.

Aside from the biases, there are several personal values that may also affect the observations of the students. An example of these values is that students cannot answer all questions correctly, as they are in the process of learning. Consequently, these students would not get full marks irrespective of their performance in the observations. Another personal value that would affect the observations of these students includes the belief that students in clinical practice need to be motivated to improve their performance to ensure that they serve patients better. Thus, these students would receive fewer scores in their assessment to ensure that they keep training to improve their performance.

Effective feedback in clinical practice requires several principles for effectiveness. This section of the paper looks at five principles of effective feedback in the clinical practice of nursing students. The first principle is that the instructor describes the students’ behavior instead of evaluating this behavior (Duffy, 2013). The evaluation of students’ behavior makes them defensive, which is not good for their learning and assessment. An example of this principle is establishing why a student yawned instead of asking if they were bored.

The second principle in the observation of students is providing feedback that describes specific student behaviors. General and categorical statements should be avoided in the event of providing feedback. Such statements are usually not useful for the students and in the observation process. Instead, observers may use less general and categorical statements. An example is telling the students that they did not pay attention adequately instead of stating that they were domineering.

The third principle is that the individual providing feedback should consider the recipient of this feedback. According to Duffy (2013), the provision of feedback should consider the needs of the giver and recipient of this feedback. An example is an observer asking questions that are less personal or invasive. The fourth principle is that observers should focus on behaviors that they can modify. Characteristics that they cannot modify should be avoided and should not be changed. In addition, the avoidance of these characteristics should enable the students to improve in confidence.

The last principle that observers in the clinical evaluation should follow is responsible commentary. In this principle, observers should avoid making statements that their students can adopt and use as their principles. Additionally, these trainers and observers should provide feedback that can be copied. An example is commenting positively, where the students act in a positive manner. These principles are important in the provision of feedback to students in clinical practice. Additionally, these principles are important for observers hoping to improve the performance of their students and to provide the necessary feedback for their motivation.


Duffy, K. (2013). Providing constructive feedback to students during mentoring. (Cover story). Nursing Standard, 27(31), 50-56.

Frühauf, S., Figlioli, P., Oehler, D., & Caspar, F. (2015). What to Expect in the Intake Interview? Impression Management Tactics of Psychotherapy Patients. Journal Of Social & Clinical Psychology, 34(1), 28-49.

Smith, N. A., & Castanelli, D. J. (2015). Measuring the clinical learning environment in anaesthesia. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, 43(2), 199-203.

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ApeGrade. 2022. "Philosophy of Clinical Evaluation to Use in Teaching." April 24, 2022. https://apegrade.com/philosophy-of-clinical-evaluation-to-use-in-teaching/.


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