Clinical expectations: what facilitators expect from ESL students on clinical placement

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Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2012, 12 (2), pp. 115 - 119
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Many nursing students for whom English is a second language (ESL) face challenges related to communication on clinical placement and although clinical facilitators are not usually trained language assessors, they are often in a position of needing to assess ESL students' clinical language performance. Little is known, however, about the particular areas of clinical performance facilitators focus on when they are assessing ESL students. This paper discusses the results of a study of facilitators' written assessment comments about the clinical performance of a small group of ESL nursing students over a two and a half year period. These comments were documented on students' clinical assessment forms at the end of each placement. The results provide a more detailed insight into facilitators' expectations of students' language performance and the particular challenges faced by ESL students and indicate that facilitators have clear expectations of ESL students regarding communication, learning styles and professional demeanour. These findings may help both ESL students and their facilitators better prepare for clinical placement.
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