Core Competencies

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Three Core Competencies

Jean M Brennan

Excelsior College

Abstract

There are many core competencies needed by a graduating student into the field of nursing. Many are defined, but many also remain unnamed. This paper will address only three of those defined core competencies.

The difference between a new nursing student and a senior one can be seen in many ways, but can still be difficult to define. The knowledge base and experience level is greater in the graduating nurse, and these can be measured by standardized testing and observation. The difference that is more difficult to measure in the senior nursing student can be seen in the confidence and competence displayed in providing physical and emotional care in the course of this/her daily work.

Discussion

Collaboration

Collaboration is a competency that is used continually in the medical field, especially demonstrated by nurses. “Collaboration is a substantive idea repeatedly discussed in health care circles. The benefits are well validated” (Gardner, 2005). Gardner continues, stating that “a collaborative outcome is the development of integrative solutions that go beyond an individual vision to a productive resolution that could not be accomplished by any single person or organization” (2005).

Although it is the responsibility of all team members involved in client care to communicate and contribute in the decision making process, it is the nursing staff that is key in the client care management. Social and interpersonal skills need to be sharp in order to provide the client with the best outcomes. the nurse is the liaison of the client to other members of the team, as well as the advocate. Without proper communication, it is difficult to provide quality care. “Interdisciplinary collaboration is critical to excellence in patient care delivery” (Ponte et al, 2010).

Collaboration may best be facilitated in the classroom initially in small discussion groups. After the groups have had time to discuss their topics, the smaller groups can then be convened into the large classroom structure. Collaboration can be learned in every setting, so the clinical area is also an important environment in addition to the classroom. In either setting open, friendly, and supportive conditions foster the best communication.

In the classroom setting, students would be assigned to roles commonly found in the medical environment (nurse, physician, pharmacist, patient, family member, nursing assistant, etc). A mock scenario would be created by the teacher, and the students assigned would be asked to role-play in front of their remaining classmates. A group discussion would then ensue, evaluating and examining each perspective. The next scenario would then be assigned, and this would continue until everyone in the class had a chance to participate.

In order to evaluate this thoroughly, the students would present their role-play discussions in front of the the class while being video-taped. The interaction from the class response would be educational, as well as the the group being able to watch themselves replay on video. In this way, each person in the group would be able to effectively examine his/her demeanor, body language, and effectiveness of communication during their presentation. The students would be evaluated from a checklist designed by the instructor and surveys to be completed by the class, their fellow teammates, and finally themselves.

In a clinical situation, the nursing student would be observed and evaluated during his/her interactions randomly over the course of their shift. The evaluation would not only come from the instructor, but include anyone the nursing student came in contact with. People such as their preceptor, other nurses, physicians, patients, unit secretaries, etc, would be asked...
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