Pre and Post Clinical Conferences: Advantages and Disadvantages

Pre-clinical conferences are discussions made in small groupings ahead of clinical education practices. The conferences are normally carried out in a dialogue or group context. It enables the students to prepare for client care, get clarifications, and plan for care and assessment of patient information and complications (Cookey, 2004). Post clinical conferences take place after the learning activities and hashes out the experiences of the day, sentiments and group support and evaluation issues. They are even used as a platform for carrying out an analysis of events and occurrences (Li-Ling, 2007 p.1530).

Pre and post clinic conferences have, in the past, been said to unnecessarily consume a lot of time. This is because they take 30% of a clinic day. They are seen as not respecting human values and rights, as well as choices of spirituality and culture. It has also been viewed as a place of chit-chat with no constructive discussions in terms of care (Cookey, 2004). The role of instructors in these conferences has also been put into question. Some approaches are seen as enhancing memorization of knowledge, and being a source of distraction or even a substitution to mainstream learning practices (Sellappah 1998, p146).

Pre-clinical conferences are important because they prepare the students before they go to the actual client care. This ensures better assessment of the information available with regard to literature review and guidance by the instructors. It also aids in applying theories learnt in class into practice with diligence and critical thinking (Sellappah 1998, p146). Post clinical conferences on the other hand, enhance collegiality and peer support. They also depict the instructor as a role model, with knowledge being a record endeavor in addition to utilizing time efficiently (Cookey, 2004). They build one’s confidence by concentrating on the positive features of the day, thus promoting specificity and peer response. They help in addressing the emotions of the day to enable continuation of learning, and as such the instructors should ask about the students’ feelings following the day’s experiences (Sellappah, 1998, p146).

The clinical post conference uniquely focuses on nursing instruction, with regard to the students’ conduct and practice. Preferably, it should give a developmental environment for discussion, debriefing, and growth of critical judgment ability (Vicky, 2009). It is meant to strengthen and develop learning that has taken place in the clinical setting. The lecturer must be cautious to endorse a learning environment that values human ideals, rights, and preference of spiritual and cultural values. Educators are expected to be open-minded, approachable, and helpful. Instructors on the other hand have to be excellent conversationalists and clear about expected clinical outcomes (Vicky, 2009).

It is important to guide an effective post conference deliberation by giving students an avenue to discuss new experiential facts acquired in the course of the clinical day (Li-Ling, 2007 p.1530). The instructor can commence the conference by asking every student to briefly share their experiences on the day’s patient care because it encourages the students to participate. Questions asked should be in reference to the topic of study, and the particular theory tackled within the week (Vicky, 2009).

During pre-clinical conferences, students plan for activities, as well as discussions of care for their tasks, derived from the literature review and detailing a specific client-health problem. They are also founded on instructor-supported mock reports, debates, illustrations and group participation (Cookey, 2004). The students do nursing rounds where they are required to speak before their peers, make skillful decisions, meet different clients, compare diagnosis, create interest, put theory into practice and generate subjects for research (Cookey, 2004). Post clinical conference events entail personal and group reflection, assessment of the students by the tutor, as well as debate of the day’s diagnosis and experiences. It also entails analysis and review of clinical activities, in addition to assessments applied in making decisions (Li-Ling, 2007, p.1529).

Reference List

Cooke, D. Dooley, D. & Meyer, P. (2004).The clinical conference. Web.

Li-Ling, H. (2007). Conducting Clinical Post-Conference in Clinical Teaching: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Clinical Nursing 16.8: 1525-1533. Print.

Sellappah, S. Hussey, T. Blackmore and McMurray, A. (1998). The Use of Questioning Strategies by Clinical Teachers. Journal of Advanced Nursing 28.1: 142-148. Print.

Vicky, N. (2009). The Clinical Post Conference – A Few Guidelines. Web.