Clinical Evaluation of Students

Policy Number: 

Clinical evaluations are used to determine advancement to the next clinical level and to give the student immediate feedback on his progress

Evaluations of students’ clinical performance by instructors is subjective; however, instructors are made aware of the expectations of students at each level and are able to evaluate students by those expectations and by comparing performance of students within a given class, and within classes at the same level in the past. Students should be aware that the purpose of the tool is not just to log how well the student is doing (as important as positive feedback is), but to note specifically where they need to improve. Students should utilize every opportunity to seek advice about how to improve.

The Medatrax tool is user friendly, and is reviewed and revised periodically. Each online entry has room for two clinical days to be evaluated, containing case and date information which the student fills out, and a place for instructors to give scores, general comments, and to list specifically any areas where improvements are needed.

The student clinical evaluation tools should be submitted to the clinical instructor for a grade each day. The affiliate Clinical Coordinator is responsible for submitting a clinical numerical grade to the School through Medatrax, when he completes the monthly summary (Narrative Evaluation of Performance). The student clinical evaluation tools will contain all instructors’ comments about the student’s clinical performances while rotating with the instructors and is very beneficial in determining the students’ final evaluation grade for the month.

In most institutions, the affiliate Clinical Coordinator completes the summary after the student leaves and then submits it through Medatrax to the School, and the student is notified the evaluation is available for his review. However, if students question the summary evaluation or wish to talk to the instructor who completed the summary, they may contact him or her. Students are also free to make their own comments once the summary evaluation is submitted to the School.

Expectations of Students

Semesters Three - Five
Students begin clinical rotations in their third semester on an “every other day” schedule. At least one evaluation should be completed per clinical day, but two cases can be evaluated if the student or instructor so desires. MTSA requires that students have at least 75% completion of student clinical evaluations at each rotation site. If a student does not meet the 75% completion mark at the end of the rotation, five (5) points will be deducted from the clinical grade at that rotation.

Semesters Six - Nine
Student’s clinical rotations increase to a daily schedule in their sixth semester until graduation. Students continue to be expected to seek evaluations from clinical instructors using the MTSA student evaluation tool Medatrax. The exceptions to the use of this student evaluation tool are Nationwide (Columbus) Children’s Hospital and the OB affiliation at Vanderbilt, where MTSA has approved an alternate evaluation system. Students are expected to meet the 75% completion requirement of student clinical evaluations at each rotation site. If a student does not meet the 75% completion mark at the end of the rotation, five (5) points will be deducted from the clinical grade at that rotation.

Special Card System

MTSA has developed a “card system” to assist in the evaluation process of all students at all levels. Giving these cards is the prerogative of each instructor. Following are suggestions about when and why these cards may be given:

  • Commendation Card (Green card)

    The first card is the “Commendation Card” (green card). Green cards are to be completed by an instructor to acknowledge outstanding performance in any area. These are to be submitted directly to the School and are to be discussed at NAP Council and the end of semester Progressions Committee meeting.

  • Area Needing Improvement Card (Yellow card)

    The next card developed is the “Area Needing Improvement Card” (yellow card). From time to time, a student’s performance may not be quite as advanced as the instructor feels it should be for the student’s level in the program. Also, if the instructor has seen several students at the same level and their performance is significantly better than the student being evaluated, the instructor is asked to identify specific areas in writing where the student can improve. These yellow cards are to be submitted directly to MTSA, and will be discussed at NAP Council and the end of semester Progressions Committee meeting.

  • Critical Incident Card (Red card)

    The final card developed is a “Critical Incident Card” (red card). Instructors determining that the student’s level of performance is below that level acceptable for this stage in the program according to the Semester Objectives on the back of the sheet, and that the performance could or would have caused significant morbidity or mortality without intervention, are asked to complete this card. They must have the student sign it and send it directly to the School. To receive a Critical Incident Card is very serious. Any student receiving a Red Card may be required to complete a drug screen within 24 hours of the school receiving notice of the Red Card. At the NAP council and end of semester Progressions Committee meeting, all Critical Incident Cards will be discussed. Each student’s end of semester performance at each affiliate is discussed in the Progressions Committee meetings. Receipt of Critical Incident Cards can lead to probation, suspension, or in extreme cases, such as an affiliate site’s refusal to allow the student to continue in that rotation, or failure of a Rotations; may lead to termination from the program.

All cards will become part of the student’s permanent file. A letter grade for clinical performance will be recorded on the transcript. Information used in tabulating this grade follows the section regarding Clinical Case Records because clinical evaluations, care plans, paperwork, and faculty/mentor review of performance are utilized in this grade.

During end of semester Evaluations Committee meetings, daily case evaluations, any cards, and general observations about each student are discussed. Any recommendations by that committee are given to the Progressions Committee, which typically meets the following week. The Progressions Committee makes the final decision relative to any action regarding performance.

Should it be determined that there may be a negative decision by the Progressions Committee (i.e., probation or termination), the student will be offered the opportunity to discuss his performance with the Progressions Committee, prior to any decision.