Clinical evaluation is approached within a framework of a course or programs that have a goal of preparing persons to be able to render direct health care service to patients through vocational instruction. In this frame of reference, clinical evaluation should be related to the patient, the student, and the course or program of vocational instruction. It is a component of the control function when clinical instruction is considered as a process through which selected changes are to be brought about in students so that they can, in turn, effect certain changes in patients in need of nursing. See Figure 5.1.
The course specifies what the student or the trainee is to become able to do for patients—what services will be given and under what circumstances these services may or may not be given; it also specifies the instructions and guidelines to be given to the student and establishes the evaluation. Patients are living subjects who require services that students are being taught to render; clinical evaluation is a process of ascertaining whether the student is able to render these services effectively, that is, in such a way that the service to the patient accomplishes its designed result or end, and efficiently, so that no undesired or untoward effects result for the patient, the student, or others, including no undue expenditure of energy or loss of materials.
Since clinical evaluation is activity, there must be an agent or a doer. The teacher who gives the vocational instruction should be the agent or the evaluator of the service rendered by the student to the patient since he has developed the objectives of the care and has instructed and guided
This paper consists of notes for presentation at the Introduction and Orientation for Directors,
Clinical Specialist Courses, for the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, Walter Reed
Hospital, held at the Woodner Hotel, Washington, DC, June 17-21, 1968.