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Teaching a clinical skill 

Teaching a clinical skill
Teaching a clinical skill

Jeffrey M Hamdorf

and Robert Davies

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date: 08 May 2021

Structured programmes have overtaken the historical apprenticeship model of learning. Simulated learning environments are ideal for teaching technical or procedural skills. The challenge for the teacher is to remain mindful that he/she has achieved unconscious competence whereas the learner is working from first principles. A four-step teaching process is recommended (demonstration, deconstruction, comprehension, and performance). Designing an effective skills teaching episode ideally involves establishing clear learning objectives, delivering the lesson at the right level, teaching skills immediately relevant to the learner’s clinical practice and giving the opportunity for reflection. Successful delivery of a skills-based course requires provision of a learning environment conducive to the learning experience, availability of appropriate simulation models and instruments, selecting an appropriate teacher:learner ratio, and use of a structured critiquing method. Assessment may be formative or summative and the educational programme should be formally evaluated.

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