"Caring behaviors"

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    Our Clinical Evaluation Tool has an item that requires a rating on Caring behaviors. There's no definition of the term, not in the tool itself, or any syllabus, handbook or catalogue. Consequently, I don't think it's legitimate to rate the student in this regard. If a student was objectively cruel, well, sure... I could rate that (and fail the student.) But the language is too vague to use for anything else. It could never survive an appeal.

    We are an ADN program and at this time we don't have any content on nursing theory or theorists. This "caring behavior" element is probably a nod to Jean Watson, but that's just my assumption. (I should explain that the CET was pretty much pirated from a BSN program in which a faculty member taught. It's an awkward fit for us.)

    So, here is my question: Do you evaluate your students on their "caring behaviors" and, if so, what are your criteria for passing or failing?
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    We do evaluate our students on their caring behavior, but these characteristics are listed in the student nurse handbook and referenced in the course syllabus. I would have to agree with you that objectively evaluating "caring" behaviors without a clear definition of what these behaviors might be can prove challenging and if, by chance, you were to fail a student in clinical, based on "caring" behaviors - you are right - no leg to stand on in appeal.

    I might suggest that you use the current CET you have as a framework for the development of one that fits your ADN program better. Or, if you like the tool, provide an addendum to your handbook that defines caring behaviors so students are aware of how they will be evaluated in clinical.
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    I am currently writing the criteria for evaluation of caring behaviors. Our curriculum gives us a definition for a foundation to expand upon. I found the ANA Code of ethics helpful, along with using therapeutic communication as a tool to develop criteria for what caring behaviors encompass. I have included not only patients, but families, patient support systems, the interdisciplinary team, and peers. It is a bit easier to evaluate since we do not use pass/fail. Instead we use a numbered criteria and point system with specifics about what constitutes points. Some of the criteria may cross over to professionalism evaluation, but still falls under both categories. Best wishes!
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    Excellent. I think we should make our CET more expansive in regards to all the people in the patient care environment, including other care-givers, significant others, family members and so forth. But, what sorts of verbs do you use to describe these caring behaviors. I find that males demonstrate concern for patients differently than females. Some ethnic groups are much more emotive than others. (Our native American population does not typically make eye-contact in the way other folks do...) Some individuals are, because of personality or the way they were raised, very nurturing in the way they interact with others.

    Maybe I'm over-thinking this issue and making harder than it has to be.
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    Check out Mayeroff's (1971) 8 Caring Ingredients. Very helpful.

    Then look at Anne Boykin's book "Living a Caring Based Program" (1994). There is even a chapter on "Creating a Caring Environment for Nursing Education".

    Hope this helps!

    Addie
  8. 0
    Thanks much...

    I'll talk to our librarian tomorrow!

    J


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