Morrow, J. E, Biggs, L., Phillips, D., McKellar, L. & McLachlan, H. (2016). Evaluating a standardised clinical assessment tool for pre-registration midwifery students: A cross-sectional survey of midwifery students and midwives in Australia. Women and Birth,29(1), 85-92. Australia: Elsevier. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2015.09.001
Background Assessment of clinical competence is a core component of midwifery education. Clinical assessment tools have been developed to help increase consistency and overcome subjectivity of assessment. Aim The study had two main aims. The first was to explore midwifery students and educators/clinical midwives’ views and experiences of a common clinical assessment tool used for all preregistration midwifery programmes in Victoria and the University of South Australia. The second was to assess the need for changes to the tool to align with developments in clinical practice and evidence-based care. Methods A cross-sectional, web-based survey including Likert-type scales and open-ended questions was utilised. Setting Students enrolled in all four entry pathways to midwifery at seven Victorian and one South Australian university and educators/clinical midwives across both states. Findings One hundred and ninety-one midwifery students’ and 86 educators/clinical midwives responded. Overall, students and educators/clinical midwives were positive about the Clinical Assessment Tool with over 90% reporting that it covered the necessary midwifery skills. Students and educators/clinical midwives reported high levels of satisfaction with the content of the learning tools. Only 4% of educators/clinical midwives and 6% of students rated the Clinical Assessment Tool as poor overall. Changes to some learning tools were necessary in order to reflect recent practice and evidence. Key conclusions and implications for practice A common clinical assessment tool for evaluating midwifery students’ clinical practice may facilitate the provision of consistent, reliable and objective assessment of student skills and competency.
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