Neil Gopee
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Vol. 15, Iss. 9, 03 Sep 2008, pp 401 - 407

Aims: Various issues related to assessment of student nursesí clinical skills have been documented in the literature. The assessment of these skills is performed by designated qualified health-care professionals, referred to here as mentors. Research suggests that during clinical placements, some mentors may be signing studentsí practice competencies as pass without full evidence of their competence. If the student is not competent in those skills, they could unknowingly harm patients, which amounts to unethical practice on the part of the mentor. Content: This article describes the reasons for exploring ethical practice in relation to assessments of clinical skills. It examines what ethical practice and ethical competence are, the importance of detecting student underachievement early, and the support available to mentors for resolving problems with assessment of clinical skills. Discussion and Conclusions: It is suggested that education for ethical competence should be more emphatically incorporated in the educational preparation programmes for mentors and similar roles.

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