Coordinator's Corner: Creating Clinical Assignment Forms

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Coordinator's Corner: Creating Clinical Assignment Forms content

Coordinator's Corner: Creating Clinical Assignment Forms

Featuring Deborah Lopez, BS, BSN, RN, and Shannon Scott, MSN, RN

Lansing Community College (LCC) and Sparrow Health System have been partners for many years; both were also among the first ACEMAPP members when the clinical education platform was created in 2008. So, when an opportunity arose to further improve communications, it didn’t take long for them to work together to create an innovative solution.

“I came up with the idea after managing on 4Foster last year and noticing a lack of communication between nurses and students. Often, nurses would not ask students for assistance or integrate students in patient care because they were uncertain about what clinical skills the students had,” said Deborah Lopez, Clinical Student Liaison at Sparrow Health System. “In one day we could have 2-3 different clinical groups on our unit and each had different clinical experiences, schedules, and expectations.”

The solution came in the form of a “clinical assignment form,” which acts to bridge the gap between the classroom and the clinical setting. Lopez identified information that would be helpful to know about each group of students, including:

  • A list of the things students are prepared to help with
  • A list of what instructors should help students to complete and document
  • Specific opportunities students are looking for this semester
  • Day(s) of the week and time
  • Start and end date
  • Semester

LCC provides information that clinical instructors can use to better understand what’s taught in lectures and labs for every course. This allows instructors to build upon those lessons in the clinical setting. The clinical assignment form is saved as a working document online so that lead instructors and teaching clinicians can make changes as needed for each course. Once changes are made, updated forms are posted to ACEMAPP so they can be replaced in the “announcements” section of member profiles and sent out via “broadcast messaging” if needed. The document is also shared during clinical site visits to ensure a paper copy is available.

“I would be remiss not to include my wonderful team of teaching clinicians,” said Shannon Scott, Interim Clinical Coordinator at LCC. “We worked together to develop the clinical assignment forms for each course along with input from our lecture instructors.”

Sparrow now requests that all schools post this information on the whiteboard for everyone to see. Lopez recommends rounding to ensure these are posted and to see if they are helpful.

“It comes as no surprise that Sparrow and LCC continue to be leaders in the clinical education space,” says Rachel Bunnell, Director of Customer Success at ACEMAPP. “We’ve enjoyed working with both teams for over a decade to implement new ideas that help improve the clinical education process.”

Coordinator’s Corner is a space to share ideas with fellow clinical education professionals. If you’d like to share what you’re working on, please contact us!