Using the literature I will look at and explore the factors that may have influenced the learner and their performance in Scenario One (hand washing). I will then, with reference to the literature, identify one of these contributory factors and critically discuss and analyse the mentor's role in addressing the identified factor. I will then identify recommendations for best practice.
There are many definitions of assessment in the literature. According to Rowntree (1987) "assessment occurs whenever one person in some kind of interaction, direct or in direct, with another is conscious of obtaining and interpreting information about the knowledge and understanding of the abilities and attitudes of this person". Curzon (1990) defines assessment as the process of: "collection, measuring and interpreting information relating to students' responses to the process of instruction". Ewan and White (1996) define assessment as "the process by which teachers attempt to gauge student' progress and learning". Quinn (2000), states that through assessment in practice judgement is made on the quality of the learners' work, as a way of supporting the learner and of appraising their achievement of their set of outcomes. The common theme of the above mentioned definitions is measurement and progression or competence and outcome Flanagan et al (1999). From the scenario we see that the student is being assessed formatively. It is important that the mentor is aware of the difference between formative and summative assessments. Price (2005) discusses the two purposes of assessment: Formative assessment in which the mentor is the advisor. The formative assessment is to advise the student of progress towards the goal. Summative assessment is in order to judge the learning.
The purpose of the assessment in the given scenario is to observe the maintenance of asepsis. Medical Asepsis is defined as, "the procedures used to reduce the number of microorganisms and prevent their spread." [Mosby 2009]. One of the basic principles of health care that is drilled into the minds of all health care professionals from a very early stage in their training is the importance of maintaining strict asepsis in their handling of patients. The lesson is repeated so often as to become second nature for health care professionals.
The reason that maintenance of asepsis is stressed upon so often in medical practice is that significant benefits can accrue from following a few simple rules. The rate of transmission of infection from on patient to another in wards and OPDs can be reduced significantly. Asepsis can also be productive towards decreasing the incidence of illness among health care workers themselves by reducing transmission of pathogenic bacteria from patients to carers.
A number of rules are in practice for the maintenance of asepsis. These include specific techniques for handwashing and use of sterilization procedures for the sheets, instruments and apparatus used in relation with patients.
In the chosen scenario, the student follows the instructions taught to the letter, but forgets to apply simple sense to the situation and soils her hand without even realizing what she has done. There can be a number of