The Clinical Post Conference A Few Guidelines

by VickyRN Senior Moderator | 17,043 Views | 4 Comments

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    the clinical post conference has a unique focus in nursing education: the student’s own behavior and experience. ideally, it should provide a nurturing setting for debriefing, discussion, and development of critical thinking skills. it should reinforce and expand the learning that has occurred in the clinical environment.

    the clinical instructor should be careful to promote a learning atmosphere that respects human values, rights, and choice of spiritual and cultural beliefs. educators should be approachable, receptive, and supportive. instructors need to be excellent communicators and clear about expected clinical outcomes.

    effectively leading post-conference discussions is very important. otherwise, valuable learning time may be wasted on “chit chat” and other meaningless activities. therefore, educator guidance is essential. students should be given the opportunity to share new experiential knowledge that they gained during their clinical day. to elicit student participation, the instructor might start the post-conference session by asking each student to “share briefly about your patient care experiences today.”

    instructors should ask participants to talk about their feelings and attitudes concerning their clinical day in order to access affective learning, especially if the day has been very challenging emotionally. affective experiences with strong emotional reactions take precedence, because no learning will take place until the feelings have been ventilated or resolved.

    questions should be used in conjunction with specific theory being taught in class that week. for instance, if the cardiovascular system was taught, then the instructor might ask questions concerning assigned patients’ blood pressure, heart failure, cardiovascular medications, and other related issues.

    high-level questions force learners to deal with complexity and promote thinking at more challenging cognitive levels. for instance, a student might be asked, “which of your patient care problems took priority today?”

    group discussions, or interactive dialogue, are another useful learning strategy for post-conference. participants might be asked to explore such relevant items as, “one of your patient’s medical diagnoses is congestive heart failure. he has crackles in his lungs. how does left-sided congestive heart failure produce pulmonary edema?”

    clinical case studies can be assigned to students during the clinical rotation, one case study per clinical day. presentations should be limited to no more than 20 minutes during the post-conference period. items the student might discuss include the prioritized plan of care, pertinent assessment data, nursing diagnoses, interventions, and expected outcomes.

    another useful learning tool is the clinical concept map. learners might be expected to draw a concept map at the beginning of the clinical day. changes to the concept map are expected to occur throughout the patient care period. the final product can be discussed during post-conference.

    short easy-to-read nursing articles can also be assigned to students, one article presentation per post-conference period. free articles are located at the nursingcenter site. one nursing journal that i especially like to use is nursing made incredibly easy. the institute for safe medication practices (ismp) also furnishes free clinically-relevant materials, such as the error-prone abbreviation list and the do not crush list.

    with a little bit of planning, post-conferences can be productive, fun learning experiences for everyone involved. i hope these suggestions are helpful to you in your teaching practice.

    references

    baugh, n. g., & melliott, k. g. (1998). clinical concept mapping as preparation for student nurses’ clinical experiences. journal of nursing education, 37(6), 253-256.

    hsu, l. l. (2007). conducting clinical post-conferences in clinical teaching: a qualitative study. journal of clinical nursing, 16(8), 1525-1533.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jun 17, '09
    HazeKomp, VivaLasViejas, CaptainPC, and 4 others like this.
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    About VickyRN

    VickyRN has '16' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds'. From 'Under the shadow of His wings...'; Joined Mar '01; Posts: 12,043; Likes: 6,426.

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    4 Comments so far...

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    Thank you for this timely article! I participated in my first post conference yesterday, after my 2nd day of clinical. I learned so much, listening to my fellow students discussing what they had learned about their patients, their illnesses, lab results, etc. I really love some of your suggestions. We had to discuss the patient's medications, too. I learned a lot of pharm yesterday!!
  4. 0
    Quote from AtomicWoman
    Thank you for this timely article! I participated in my first post conference yesterday, after my 2nd day of clinical. I learned so much, listening to my fellow students discussing what they had learned about their patients, their illnesses, lab results, etc. I really love some of your suggestions. We had to discuss the patient's medications, too. I learned a lot of pharm yesterday!!
    Glad this has been helpful to you. As an instructor, my favorite part of the clinical day is the post conference. I love the time of sharing. The students learn from one another, from me, and I learn from them! This is what engaged learning is all about
  5. 2
    This is wonderful information! We have a new clinical instructor this semester and if we have post conference (we don't have a certain time that we leave the floor, it's just whenever she shows up and says its time to go), she uses it to sit and gossip or talk about TV shows or movies or once she tried to help us "study" for our lecture class (we have a different instructor for the lecture portion). After 6 weeks of clinical, we have yet to have a post-conference that has anything to do with what happened at clinical that day. I'd like to give her your article!
    SRDAVIS and VickyRN like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from miss_pitty_pat
    This is wonderful information! We have a new clinical instructor this semester and if we have post conference (we don't have a certain time that we leave the floor, it's just whenever she shows up and says its time to go), she uses it to sit and gossip or talk about TV shows or movies or once she tried to help us "study" for our lecture class (we have a different instructor for the lecture portion). After 6 weeks of clinical, we have yet to have a post-conference that has anything to do with what happened at clinical that day. I'd like to give her your article!
    Thank you. Glad this has been helpful


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