Core competencies are key management tools that are applied in most business settings today. This refers to the unique abilities or capabilities that are established by organizations, with the aim of gaining a stronger competitive advantage in business.
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These capabilities are crucial in creating and delivering value services to customers or clients in any chosen field. Effective core competencies are essential in all units of the health sector, just like in any other sector.
Medical and clinical professionals are required to pay attention to distinctive competencies given to them by their organizations, in order to be able to undertake their roles in ways depicting their compliance to the Codes of Conduct governing their work.
This paper observes core competencies in the health sector, where capabilities of a clinical and non-clinical role are compared and contrasted, to bring out the similarities and the differences in those fields. In this context, the core competencies of a Nurse Educator and those of a Nurse Educator are examined.
The core competencies of Clinical Educators and Clinical Practitioners would tend to be similar in some cases, since the two sectors share a common objective of advancing the goals of health care in the society (Institute of Medicine, 2003).
However, the roles in these two sectors vary greatly, and this clearly explains the slight differences that may be observed in the structure of their core competencies.
Clinical educators have the responsibility of giving clinical lessons to medical students, while Clinical practitioners are entrusted with the role of taking medical services to the society, where it is needed.
In this regard, the core competencies of both Clinical Educators and Practitioners are designed to fit their specialty fields.
One of the major competencies for clinical educators emphasizes the need to come up with approaches that would facilitate student understanding in various learning environments.
More importantly, it is also the responsibility of Clinical Educators to ease development and socialization among the learners, to ensure they fully benefit from the many theoretical and practical lessons given to them.
Clinical Educators are also required to engage in effective scholarship practices and constantly apply assessment strategies to rate the learners in diverse settings of health care (Kalb, 2008).
This goal can be achieved through a number of strategies, which the educators think are appropriate in bringing forth the most satisfying results on learners. Nurse educators are also required to participate effectively in the designing of curriculum and evaluation of programs in the health care sector.
This gives the educators the opportunity to take part in the decision-making process, which is essential in shaping their knowledge and skills at work.
Clinical educators should also serve as models and agents of change, to be able to impart good morals in the health sector. It is also in the responsibility of Clinical Educators to operate within the educational environments under which they are placed.
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Unlike in the case of the Clinical Educators, the core competencies of Clinical Practitioners are observed to be a bit complex, since these are the people who represent the entire medical sector to the public.
The core capabilities of nursing practitioners would tend to vary greatly across different health care units, and are regularly updated to match the dynamic changes and demands in the health care sector (Hart & Macnee, 2007).
According to the current version of ‘Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies’, Clinical Practitioners are expected to show competence in scientific foundation. Just like the Clinical Educators, Health Practitioners should also try to show leadership standards which emulate their profession.
The role of Clinical Practitioners involves dealing with patients who have various health issues, and for that reason, the practitioners are expected to incorporate strict ethical principles in their work. More importantly, medical practitioners should always prove to be independent in their work.
Other key core competences which define the role of Clinical Practitioners include quality competences, policy competences, IT literary competences, and Health delivery competences.
As it would be observed, there are differences and similarities in the ways by which these core competencies are implemented within the two clinical sectors.
For instance, the core competencies of Clinical educators are manifested in a learning setting, while those for Clinical Practitioners are realized in real-life, through medical-related practices.
In most cases, the core competences of Clinical Educators are assessed in the way they treat their students, while the core capabilities of Clinical Practitioners are observed through their interactions with clients in various care settings (Suter et al., 2009).
In other words, the core competencies for Clinical Educators are student-centered, while those for the Clinical Practitioners are integrated across the entire spectrum of care.
However, players in these two sectors are faced with the obligation of living by the strict guidelines of their core competencies, with the focus of observing and maintaining high quality standards in the entire care sector.
Another outstanding similarity with the implementation of core competences in the two clinical sectors is that, collaborative education and training are essential in enforcing the understanding of the competences.
It is also clear that the core competences for the two sectors are usually manifested and enforced through the concept of interprofessional communication, among other interactive ways.
Hart, A. & Macnee, C. (2007). How well are nurse practitioners prepared for practice: Results of a 2004 questionnaire study. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19 (1), 35-42.
Institute of Medicine. (2003). Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Kalb, K. (2008). Core competencies of nurse educators: Inspiring excellence in nurse educator practice. Nursing Education Perspectives, 29(4), 217-219.
Suter, E. et al. (2009). Role understanding and effective communication as core competencies for collaborative practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(7), 41-51.