Clinical teaching is teaching which takes place in a clinical context. It usually involves patients and clinical procedures, and as such, necessitates sensitivity, confidentiality and discretion.
As a clinical teacher you need to:
- Act as a role model for students (e.g. dress appropriately, act courteously etc)
- Clearly articulate the criteria used for student assessment
- Clearly demonstrate and explain clinical material
- Clearly demonstrate and explain clinical treatment techniques
- Demonstrate how theoretical knowledge can be applied in a clinical situation
- Monitor students clinical progress regularly, critically and constructively
- Encourage students to develop rapport and empathy with the patient and/or his or her family.
Clinical teaching often involves presentation of a case, assessment and discussion of the case.
As a clinical teacher it is important that you:
- Encourage students to present the facts of the case to you (without you intervening to offer a diagnosis)
- Encourage students to explain the rational behind their thinking (you can probe this through the use of ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions)
- Provide general rules targeted to the learner’s level of understanding (for example, ‘When this happens, do this...")
- Tell them what they did right
- Correct their mistakes in a constructive manner.