Clinical Teaching Strategies and Techniques

Course Author(s): Harold A. Henson, RDH, PhD


Clinical Teaching Strategies and Techniques.

The clinical classroom connection: It allows students to learn how, when and where, and why to apply to competencies gained in the classroom into practice. As faculty, we should coordinate efforts to transition students' learning from the classroom and then implementation in clinical settings. The didactic faculty should strive to maintain clinical expertise by regularly teaching clinic lab courses. Didactic faculty that are not teaching in the clinical environment need to develop course materials that explicitly discuss the theory practice topics for students.

Clinical faculty should be provided copies of the didactic syllabi and textbooks and be invited to attend classroom lectures. Administrators should implement socialization strategies for full and part-time faculty to meet and discuss teaching strategies for making the classroom and clinical connection. For example, through departmental meetings, faculty calibration meetings, faculty assemblies, and retreats.

Clinical teaching techniques and strategies.

The following strategies and techniques will be discussed through the remainder of this presentation. We will discuss clinical simulation, demonstration performance method, case presentation, clinical focus, evidence rounds, infection control safety rounds, and case in the round.

Clinical simulation is the artificial representation of real-world process to replicate clinical scenarios through experiential learning. This provides an educational scaffolding through experiential learning. It must be driven by an educational goals and learning objectives. It allows learners to practice and hone their clinical skills, and it provides a safe environment. In addition, it allows the faculty to connect the curriculum dots between the classroom and clinic. It is used as an evaluation tool and allows for reflective practice through the process of debriefing.

Ask the right questions using Bloom's revised taxonomy. So as we look at this pyramid, we can ask the students different questions in their learning process through the different phases of creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding, and remembering. So through these processes, we engage that student in that conversation to help them assimilate and learn the clinical concepts.

Demonstration performance method: Through this method, we actually go through the process of explaining what we do, demonstrating it, viewing the student's performance under instructor supervision, and evaluating the process. This is probably the most common process we use in dental education.

Case presentation is provides a general description. It is concise, edited presentation of the most essential information, such as identifying information in the chief complaint, a history of present illness, other active medical problems, medications, allergies, substance use, social history, physical examination, a summary, and an assessment and plan.

Clinic focus: Identify three or five specific activities for the students to address. Students present their findings at a post-clinical conference. Faculty use guided questions to facilitate questions. For example, have the student discuss their protocol for a patient needing antibiotic prophylaxis.

Evidence rounds: Ask each student to discuss the evidence-base standard of care. The group discusses the strength of the evidence and compares a standard with practices currently used in the institution. For example, a patient on their first visit has uncontrolled hypertension. Have the student discuss the evidence-based guidelines for chairside treatment, using the institution's clinical guidelines vs. the national guidelines.

Infection control in safety rounds: Identify infection control safety risk-related to the environment from the clinician and the patient's viewpoints. Groups discuss the implications of these factors in terms of infection control and safety risk. For example, have a student conduct an infection control safety round in the clinical area. Ask the student to discuss their findings and use evidence-based guidelines in making corrective recommendations.

Case in the round: Faculty presents a hypothetical case with minimum information. Starting from the right, the first student must state what he or she would address. Students on the left provide a finding. For example, a patient presents with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Have a discussion on patient management and how this would impact the process of care.

The role of reflective practice: It is a way of studying your own experiences to improve the way you work. Reflective practice has three components. The first is things, experiences that happen to the person, the reflective practices that enabled the person to learn from those experiences. And third, the actions that result from the new perspectives that are taken.

As faculty, we must ask our learners to reflect on why they have learned and how will they have done things differently. It can be described as a process of reason and thought. It also enables the practitioner to critically self-assess and analyze their approach to practice.

Teachable moments: The clinical setting is not very predictable, so we can enhance the student learning by debriefing with the following: Ask them at today's session, what did they learn today? Discuss the positives and challenges of the clinic session. What would they have done differently? Encourage students to share and reflect upon their experience and also be sensitive to your students' feelings.

A recap: Encourage to learn to self-assess and reflect. Ask questions that stimulate critical thinking. Support the learner in thinking through patient problems and concerns. Assist the learner in developing plans for his or her patient. Provide constructive feedback in safe environment in a supportive manner. And most of all, encourage self-directed learning.

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