A Multidimensional Tool for Clinical Evaluation

Andrea Baumann, Edie Benoit


Clinical evaluation has been a problem for nursing educators for many years. Previous attempts to deal with this problem are well documented in the literature. Nursing authors such as Palmer (1962), Slater (1967), and Fivars and Gosnell (1966) describe a variety of approaches to clinical evaluation. The descriptions of the tools they developed were helpful in the initial stages of developing a clinical tool.
This article describes the development of the clinical evaluation tool used in the second year of the nursing programme at the University of British Columbia. One of the first decisions which had to be made was the design of the tool. There were a number of variables which had to be considered. The design had to meet course requirements and the constraints which accompanied these requirements. It also had to be congruent with the faculty's beliefs and assumptions about evaluation in general, and clinical evaluation in particular. A review of these variables led to the decision that the measurement of clinical competency required the development of a multidimensional tool. This approach agrees with Reilly (1975, p. 145) who states "Clinical practice is complex and of course cannot be evaluated by any single procedure. No form by itself is an appropriate evaluation device."

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