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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

SMALL, Louis Frederick et al. Students' perceptions regarding the objective, structured, clinical evaluation as an assessment approach. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.18, n.1, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1025-9848.

The nursing profession is characterised by the fact that a significant amount of time is spent on competency-related activities. The assessment of clinical competence is therefore an important issue in nursing education and the utilisation of objective structured clinical evaluation for that purpose was considered to be very important in this study. The objective of this research was to explore and describe the perceptions of first- and third-year student nurses with regard to the objective structured clinical evaluation assessment approach. A quantitative, cross-sectional, analytical research design was used. The instrument was a questionnaire (ordinal). This questionnaire focused on the perceptions of student nurses with regard to the objective structured clinical evaluation approach in particular, and with regard to aspects such as reality, execution, time allocation and student and assessor variables. The findings indicated that, as an assessment tool, the objective structured clinical evaluation approach was perceived as not being totally realistic, especially by the more senior nursing students (third-year) as compared with the first-year nursing students. Varying degrees of stress were experienced by the nursing students in their first and third years but, in general, the overall perception appeared to be that the approach was well organised and that the respective students would be able to perform equally well in the clinical field. It may be concluded that the majority of students appreciate the format of the objective structured clinical evaluation approach. However, the study further highlighted the fact that more extensive training of students on time management and the relief of emotional stress is necessary during the implementation of this approach.

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