- Clinical competence requires an adequate knowledge and attitude base for safe practice as well as the mastery of a variety of skills.
- Clinical competence is assessed by using a professional experience placement record (PEPR).
- The PEPR is usually completed by the PEP facilitator or another designated person in discussion with the RN.
- You should always have an opportunity to discuss your clinical report with your PEP Facilitator.
Assessment of your clinical competence includes:
- assessment of your clinical skills
- assessment of your theoretical knowledge, and
- assessment of your attitudes.
Reflective learning log
In addition to the PEPR, you may be required to complete a reflective learning log (RLL). This document allows you to:
- meet learning objectives related to reflective practice
- apply your theoretical learning to practice gained in the nursing skills laboratories and on placement.
Self-assessment of progress
With your PEP Facilitator, the RN and/or the relevant clinical staff at your placement venue, you are expected to:
- identify your ongoing learning needs and develop strategies for meeting them
- continually evaluate your progress towards achieving these learning needs
In particular, you are expected to:
- establish a working relationship with the clinical team
- evaluate your own progress towards achievement of the topic learning objectives and the relevant NMBA competencies
- elicit feedback about your professional experience placement from both your PEP Facilitator and the clinical staff
- maintain communication with the clinical staff regarding patients' health status
- provide patient care consistent with the objectives outlined in the Topic Details booklet, under the direction and supervision of an RN
- be accountable to supervising clinical staff for the care you provide.
- Make sure you are familiar with the learning objectives, skills list and competencies you are expected to achieve by the end of the placement (see Topic details booklet).
- Be clear in your mind about which of these relate to PEP: if you are uncertain seek clarification from your PEP Facilitator or Topic Coordinator.
- At the end of every clinical shift/session reflect on and document the adequacy of your progress.
- Use your reflective learning log to record your reflections.
- If you are uncertain of any skill, seek assistance from your PEP Facilitator or RN on the ward.
- Ask for feedback and support from the RN, PEP liaison and/or PEP Facilitator.
- Incorporate any feedback into your reflective process.
- Assess your degree of confidence and competence before you begin the next professional experience topic and develop strategies for how to improve in these areas.
If you have problems meeting learning objectives
During your placement you may find some of the learning objectives more difficult to achieve than others. If you are having difficulties achieving any of the learning objectives, you can talk with your PEP Facilitator. They will assist you in developing strategies to achieve the outcomes.
If your performance on placement fails to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) competencies or the learning objectives for your topic, your PEP Facilitator and Topic Coordinator may place you on a Professional Learning Plan (PLP). This requires successful completion of competencies and learning objectives outlined in the PLP within a set timeframe.
For information about Professional Learning Plans see the PEP General Information: Problems and Concerns webpage.
A student who demonstrates unsafe clinical practices will immediately be withdrawn from the PEP venue.
Unsafe professional experience is defined as:
- inadequate knowledge base to sustain safe practice
- inadequate performance of any skill, including communication
- unprofessional behaviour that places patients at risk of physical harm, unreasonable emotional distress or neglect
- unlawful or unethical behaviour.
- incorrect medication administration
The PEP facilitator will notify the topic coordinator and course coordinator in writing of the circumstances requiring your withdrawal from placement. You may be able to return on a Professional Learning Plan once the matter has been discussed with the PEP Facilitator and Topic Coordinator and the venue.
You will not be considered for reinstatement if the level of safety is at a fail level.