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Self-Assessment of Clinical Skills

Janeika Barnes

Walden University

NURS 6565- Synthesis in Advance Practice Care of Complex Patients in Primary Care Settings

February 27,2018

Self-Assessment of Clinical Skills

According to Antonelli (2017), ‘self-assessment of knowledge and accuracy of skill performance is essential to the practice of healthcare and self-directed life-long learning’. The emphasis on life-long learning is important. Sullivan and Hall (2017) suggest that a self-assessment can promote reflection on personal performance as well as to identify reasons for discrepancies between scores of assessors and assesse. Self-assessment is ‘the act of judging ourselves and making decisions about the next step.’(Boud.,2015). An important principle is that assessment must be followed by action.

The three strengths that I possess include; ability to complete accurately and thoroughly any physical exam that encompasses the patients using appropriate techniques as provisioned for in the diagnosis chart. I am also able to effectively communicate verbally as well as establish interpersonal communication with the patients and other staff within the healthcare facility, which is crucial in establishing a collaborative working relationship and a calm environment in which the patients can feel comfortable to articulate what they might be experiencing. The third strength is that I am a strong believer in patient education. All these three strengths complement each other and play a crucial role in ensuring that I am effective in patient handling as well as establishing close relationship with them. For example, the ability to carry out thorough and accurate physical exams and diagnosis on patients ensures that I am able to focus on the patient symptoms with more ease as well as effectively diagnose their condition. The effective verbal communication as well as interpersonal communication helps ensure that I can create a comfortable environment through which the patients can be able to narrate their medical history thus gives me an opportunity to effectively analyze their condition. The provision of patient education about the patient medication or examination helps ensures they gain autonomy and self-empowerment to control and manage their condition.

The three weaknesses that I have include; the lack of an understanding of the state’s nursing practice act, inability to add all differential patient diagnosis in my the patient assessment although I might carry out accurate assessments, as well as the need to improve on the use of medical literature and thus be able to plan treatment appropriately. I am currently working on gaining a better understanding of the nursing legal compliance within the state as well as ensuring that each day I undertake patient assessments and fill in the differential diagnosis to ensure that the assessments are not only accurate but also comprehensive (Schober, 2016). I am currently working on improving my understanding of medical literature as well as taking time to research and understand more on the pathology of diseases and their treatment plans.

The clinical skills that I intent to acquire before exiting the program include; cultural competency skills, critical thinking skills as well as decision making skills, all which will help ensure that I am able to expedite my duties as a nurse better. The acquisition of the cultural competency skills will help ensure that I am able to not only communicate but also understand information from patients drawn from diverse backgrounds (Buppert, 2015). This will be achieved by ensuring that I spend time with colleagues drawn from different backgrounds as well as read widely on the various cultures and their practices. The critical thinking and decision-making skills will be honed through active practice, in which I will ensure that in every engagement I am involved try to critically think before making the decision as well as evaluating the various scenarios and circumstances at hand before making the final decision.

Advanced practice nurses have evolved widely through the years as technology has become integrated into the nursing profession, with the intent of realizing new cost-effective methods of delivering care as well as increasing the ratio of practitioners to patients. The advanced practice nurses are expected to not only obtain health histories of the patients but also perform comprehensive examinations on the patients, develop differential diagnostics, evaluate the response of the patients to treatment as well as engage in research studies (Schober, 2016). As an advanced practice nurse, I will play a crucial role developing therapeutic plan of care, provide patient education and counseling as well as participate in research studies aimed at improving the nature of care that is available for the patients.



1. Antonelli MA. Accuracy of second-year medical students’ self-assessment of clinical skills. Acad Med2017;72: 563-5 [PubMed]

2. Boud D. Enhancing Learning through Self-assessment. London: Kogan Page, 2015

3. Buppert, C. (2015). What is a Nurse practitioner? In Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide (5th ed.) (1-16, 33). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

4. Schober, M. (2016). Introduction to advanced nursing practice: An international focus. New York, NY: Springer.

5. Sullivan K, Hall C. Introducing students to self-assessment. Assess Eval Higher Ed 2017;22: 289-303

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