Embedding Holism in the Clinical Skills Curriculum

This source preferred by Rosalyn Joy

Authors: Nickless, L. and Joy, R.

Start date: 4 July 2008

Nursing worldwide remains a predominantly practice based discipline with vocational relevance at its core (Quinn 2007, Wellard et al 2007). The client experience lies at the heart of healthcare; the primary objective being the delivery of a workforce that has the capacity, capability and competence to meet ever changing needs of clients, regardless of the environment (NMC 2004). In order to achieve this, care delivery should be based upon the beliefs and values of holism, which arises from the premise that all humans have a desire to be treated as a whole person; who is able to relate and respond to human interaction (Joy 2008). In contemporary practise, the skills required for care delivery are often developed within clinical skills centres, which arguably provide a safe, risk free environment in which to practice skills. However, a problem arises when the focus on skills acquisition alone produces behavioural-based outcomes of a cognitive and psychomotor nature, thus excluding the potential to provide holistic care.

A framework of holism, entitled ‘The Brick in the Wall’ was developed at Bournemouth University (BU). Each brick of the framework represents a key holistic value, for example; dignity or comfort. When cemented together the framework provides a foundation for teaching and encourages students’ to consider the wider nature of care delivery, albeit in a skills environment.

The framework also provides the criteria for a summative skills assessment at the end of year one. The students utilize the criteria to explore and critique a recording of their practice. Initial evaluation, through assignment marking, demonstrates that students are capable of applying the values of holism to their care of others. Further research on the framework is subsequently planned.

This poster submission provides a pictorial representation of the framework demonstrating how holism is embedded within our Clinical Skills Curriculum.

Joy, R., 2008. Educational Preparation for Practicing in a Clinical Environment (unpublished masters’ dissertation. Bournemouth University.

Nursing & Midwifery Council. 2004. Standards of Proficiency for pre-registration nursing education. London:NMC.

Quinn, F. M and Hughes, S, J., 2007. Quinn’s Principles and Practice of Nurse Education. 5th ed. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Wellard, S., Woolf, R and Gleeson, L., 2007. Exploring the Use of Clinical Laboratories in Undergraduate Nursing Programmes in Regional Australia. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship. 4 1 (Article 4), 1-11.

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