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Assessment has always been an indispensible part of the learning process. The process helps to evaluate whether the course program results in generating benefits for the individuals participating in it. However, the process of assessment is not focused in real term. As per the studies conducted by Gibbs (1999) and Elton & Johnston (2002), around 10% of the tasks that the students do in their academics are not accessed at all.
On considering the case of nursing, it is noted that the lack of assessment leaves the chances of patients and public to suffer. On the other hand, the regressive assessment process can help a lot to the people attached with it. Mentorship always plays an important role in the preparation of the student to work in the practical environment. In my course of mentorship, I work as the staff nurse at the operation theatre.
Recently in our organization, we have implemented the force tread valley lab and Aatherny machine in our department. There are several complications attached with the machine, as not many people have used it in their learning courses. Thus, it becomes important for me to make the students learn about the machine, how to operate it, how to take care of any unexpected result etc. For this assignment, I had conducted assessment program to analyse the learning that the learners gain from this machine. Based on the assessment done, I have come up with some important findings related to the machine and learners as well. Therefore, hereon, I would be discussing the experience after the proper assessment of the learners for the force tread valley lab and Aatherny machine incorporated in our department. For better analysis results, I had a meeting with the associate health practitioner to understand the proper ways of evaluation. My talks with him had helped me a lot in reaching to my goals in quite a professional manner.
The process of assessment should of such a kind that that the students are able to gain something from it. If the process of learning is found to have some flaws as per the assessment, it is better to make amendments in the learning process (Brown et al., 1997). Thereon raises the need of rigorous assessment process the mentor shall take right steps of assessment to reach to the right results. In case mentor does not take right steps to assess his students, the results can be pathetic for both the student and the patients in the future. Thus, there are number of assessment processes in place. Some of the most commonly used assessment processes include (ACGME, 2000):-
Patient surveys are used for the assessment of satisfaction with the clinics, hospitals and they include questions about the physician’s care (Smee, 2004). The questions are used with some general aspects of the physician’s care (time spent with the patient), physician competency (knowledge and skills, courtesy or empathy). Some more specific aspects of care include physician’s explanations, treatment steps and drug side effects, listening skills. Typical survey method includes rating techniques with poor, fair, good, very good, excellent rating standards or agreements with the care describing statements by using yes or no statement. Each rating has given a value and then the satisfactions score is calculated by the average of all responses for generating single score or scores for different clinical care settings or activities
Objective structured Clinical Examination
In the OSCE method, one or two assessment tools are managed by almost 12-20 patient encounter stations. Each station lasts after 10-15 minutes. Candidates may complete the patient notes or a detailed written examination about some previous patient’s encounter. All candidates move from one station to other station with the sequence of same schedule. Standardized patients are considered as the primary assessment tools that are used in OSCEs but it includes data interpretation exercise with the clinical cases and clinical conditions with anatomical models for the assessment of technical skills.
360 degree evaluation method
360-degreee evaluation method includes measurement tools that are to be completed by multiple people under the person’s sphere of influence. The evaluators are peers, subordinates, patients, families and supervisors. This evaluation process uses questionnaire to collect information about the performances of individuals on several topics such as communication, management skills, decision- making, teamwork etc. The process also include rating scales for the assessment that how the behavior is performed. Then the ratings are summarized for all type of evaluations by the topic and overall for the purpose of providing feedback.
Chart stimulated recall oral examination (CSR)
In the CSR, the examinees are assessed in the form of standardized oral examinations. A trained and experienced examiner asks the questions about care provided for the reasons behind the diagnoses, interpretation of clinical findings and some treatment plans. The examiners rate the examinee by using well established scoring procedure. The well designed CSR cases generally take 5 to 10 minutes for each one but the typical CSR process is of two hours with one or more than one examiners/ physician per separates sessions of 30-60 minutes.
This is just the test using Multiple- choice questions to check for the performance on participants.
Simulation and model
Simulation methods are used to assess the clinical performances and that are close to the reality and attempt to reproduce (Novotny et al., 2006; Waltz et al, 2010). However, these are not used for duplicating real clinical problems. Here are some attributes for simulation methods allow the examinees for a reason through the clinical problems without any signal. They integrate some options, permit the examinees for making some threatening errors without any damage to the patient, provide feedback to correct the mistake done, give rating to the performances of examinees on some clinical problems, which are impossible at the time of evaluation effectively. Some simulation methods have been developed as PMPs (patient management problems), role- playing situation (clinical team simulations, standardized patients (SPs), anatomical models or the combination of these three types. Anatomical models are used for body organs for pathological findings to simulate the disease of patients. VR simulations (virtual reality simulations) use computers with anatomical models and that allows an assessment of procedural skills and other clinical tasks
Hereon, in the case at hand, we had made use of Simulation and model technique. This technique seems to be the best choice for this task because the course relates to learning of the force tread valley lab and Aatherny machine that is recently implemented in our department. The simulated environment gives a number of options that relate to reality. The student can learn practically, using this approach. I gave the students an opportunity to perform in the real time environment. In this practical environment, students are able to perform practically, and even there is no risk of any patient’s health. Thus, the life is safe as well. Direct practice on an individual is quite a risky practice. Therefore, the risk free method shall be made into practice. Hereon, the assessment method suggested very good results for me. It was quite a fair way to assess anyone. There cannot be any sort of variation due to any reason. Even the chances of biasness are minimized using the approach. What matters in this assessment method is the practical performance.
The learning process in nursing is of quite importance. The successors of the course are expected to be responsible for the lives of people in the future. Therefore, there is the need for proper assessment of an individual who enrols in the program.
I was given an opportunity to assess the performance of my students. My students were performing well in the theory sessions. I found that the force tread valley lab and Aatherny Machine are quite crucial to in the nursing related activities. The students here in our course were trying to workout to learn how to make use of these devices in practice. One who makes use of both the machine and the knowledge of nursing is the actual nursing specialist, else knowing how to operate a machine would just make him limit to being a machine operator (Andrist et al., 2006; APA, 2008). The nurses are seen facing trouble in using technological devices since the mid 1960s (Sandlelowski, 2000). Thus, there is something, which acts as a hurdle against the process of learning to handle technological devices. The process suggests the right use of skills in order to gain from the machines. The skills of nurses are evaluated more and more using the usage skills of machines (Ferguson & Calder, 1993), as these machines have become an indispensible part in one’s nursing course process. Even the introduction of the machine in our department adds to the reason for learning the process of using machine.
Hereon, the results I got from the performance of students was quite astonishing. I was happy to see that some of the students operated the machine in simulated environment in such a good manner that it seems that these students can operate in a real world environment as well. These students are expected to grow at a good rate within their career arena. However, the performance of some of the students was too bad. We are lucky that we have the assessment model of simulated environment, from which we can find out the students who are too weak to handle the practical situations. These students are too risky to operate in real term. Therefore, the right use of the simulated environment was of help for me to analyse the performance of students and their easiness to operate the machine.
Based on the assessment, the weaker students are suggested to work out on their learning sessions. Machines are usually found tough to be used by the students in general (Brown & Edwards, 2007; Anderson, 2000). The student needs to learn the process of using the machine along with implementation of their nursing knowledge, which is not an easy task. Therefore, the problem situation arises hereon. In our case, as our department did not make use of any machine in earlier days, but sudden incorporation of machine in our department had acted as a hurdle against our regular management operations. The need of proper knowledge in technical terms can help an individual to perform in a better manner.
Thus, mentors are quite crucial to assess the students. I shall however keep an eye to maintain the standards as per the NMC (2006). This suggests me to assess thoroughly each of the student’s performance. This would help me in reaching to the right assessment decision.
The assessment has been an important player in the success of an individuals’ performance. Thus, I need to properly evaluate the students to understand their comfort with using the force tread valley lab and Aatherny Machine. The simulated assessment method used by me was quite a good choice. I was able to clearly analyse and evaluate the performance of individuals. Some of the students were though finding it tough to use the machine. This was mainly due to the reason that our organization did not use the machine earlier. Thus, it further added to the complexity of assessing the students. I found the successful candidates in this evaluation method were quite strong in their performance activities, and I expect the bright future of these individuals.
The recent implementation of machine in our department acted as the major reason for this. The learning to use a machine is a time consuming process. It is expected that with due course of time, my students would be able to learn the way to use the machine. However, I have even planned extra sessions for those who do not perform well during my assessment sessions. These special sessions would be aimed to help the students in learning the areas they are lacking in. This way, I would be able to generate brighter talent from my department, which can be a great asset for future nursing.
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