1. Section Editor(s): Pfeifer, Gail M. MA, RN

Article Content

How can instructors identify unsafe nursing students in the clinic? In a recent review of 11 studies exploring that question, published in the August Journal of Nursing Education, three themes emerged: ineffective interpersonal relationships, incompetence (regarding skills and knowledge), and an unprofessional image. Signs of ineffective interpersonal relationships included making harmful remarks to patients, yawning or eye rolling, and arguing and being disrespectful. A lack of knowledge and critical thinking, such as not knowing the possible adverse effects of medication and not knowing what to do, were signs of incompetence. Repetitive errors, anger, defensiveness, dishonesty, and carelessness were examples of an unprofessional image. Clarification of objectives for each year of study would both support the early identification of problems that threaten patient safety and provide a legal basis for removing unsafe students from the clinical setting.