Example 1 – Students interview an older person in a classroom

Gwen, a community mental health nurse who retired at 81 years of age, was invited to a tutorial session for second year undergraduate nursing students. The learning objective was to develop skills in assessing an older person with multiple chronic conditions. The students were familiar with undertaking biometric assessments (e.g., blood pressure, pulse, etc.) but needed to develop other skills (e.g. the use of hearing and smell) in the assessment process, and sensitive and professional communication skills. In preparation for the session, the students:

  • Discussed what skills (e.g., communication, observation, listening, questioning sensitively) are needed for an assessment that does not include biometric measures
  • Developed a set of possible interview questions to elicit the information about Gwen’s chronic health conditions and the impact those conditions have on her quality of life
  • signed consent forms for the interview to be filmed

The students interviewed and assessed Gwen, and she provided feedback about the quality of the interactions from her perspective. There was a debriefing with both Gwen and the students on the day of the session, and at the following tutorial the students critiqued their own assessment skills.