Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The text covers a wide range of topics in an overview manner. This is perfectly acceptable in an introductory text such as this, as most of the topics covered would require a book of their own to be explored in depth. The amount of information provided is enough to give the reader a quick understanding of each topic that is just enough to make the practical tips offered comprehensible and situated within their proper context. Another chapter or two specifically around the best techniques to use for bedside teaching and competency-based education could be considered in a future edition.
The text provides a table of content. In the online version, each chapter is subdivided into its subcomponents and thus easy to navigate. The PDF version does not offer the same option. Providing an index at the end of the book would be a nice addition. I did not miss the glossary as all words and expressions are well explained within the text itself.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
The content is generally accurate. I did find a couple of topics that were presented with a bias, but these topics are still being researched and explored in the literature. For other topics where a bias was visible, a visible effort had been made to at least let the reader be aware of the “flip side” of the argument.
The authors of this text have a strong grasp of the nursing literature, but for a text that is for “health professionals” in general – as opposed to nursing specifically – the content accuracy could have been improved by checking recent health professions, medical and general education literature as well. Some of the topics referred to in the book have been explored more in-depth in other health professions.
Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
As the text does not go into too great detail for any particular topic, it is unlikely that any major changes will be required within a short period of time. The text is organized in a way that will allow quick and painless reorganization/updating if needed.
Coming from a health profession other than nursing, I found this text to be very much nursing-oriented, both in its references and examples. If it was to be used as a primary text for beginner clinical teachers in other health professions, it would require quite a bit of work to remodel (e.g., references, examples, tips, etc).
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
The text is very clearly written. A historical preamble to a topic is offered at the beginning of each chapter, but it is easy to read and allows for enough background information to be provided on a topic that may be unknown to the reader.
Sometimes the text can be weighed down and difficult to read when too many references are inserted within a paragraph (i.e., two or three sentences in a row are each referenced with over 3 citations each).
Some of the practical tips ask you to think of ways to do a task, but limited answers are provided, if any. For example, readers were asked to think of ways to disseminate some of their teaching innovations. Other than sharing it in a publication, no other suggestions were offered. I would hope that in a text directed at early career preceptors, more answers would be offered whenever questions are asked within the text.
Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
Yes, the chapters are all arranged in the same consistent manner and use the same terminology. In both the online and PDF versions, it was very clearly indicated when Creative Strategies or From the Field sections were inserted.
Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The content is well organized and divided into manageable chapters and sub-sections within chapters. The text periodically ties in new material to previously described content, and reminds the reader in which chapter this information was found. Should there be a need to reorganize the text, this self-referring would not be too extensive to work around.
Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
Yes. In particular, it should be noted that there is rarely more than 2-3 pages of theory before a practical tip is offered that makes the theory "come alive".
Organization Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
I preferred to use the text as a PDF as I found it easier to read that way. In the online version, the reader simply keeps scrolling down and down the page. It reminded me of webpages from the early 90’s with run-on text. When presenting such a text online, better use of hyperlinks and separate but linked pages for each major sub-section of a chapter would be beneficial. Neither the PDF nor the online versions, however, had any interface issues.
Interface Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
A few typing errors were found, consisting of incorrectly capitalized words at the start of sentence or in the middle of sentences, and one or two omitted words. None of this affected the ability to read and understand the text.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. However, the text is quite obviously geared towards nursing clinical preceptors. While all the theories and background information presented are shared by any educational program that has a hands-on component, be it in the health professions or not, the examples and references are quite specific to nursing. This is not a problem per se, except that the text’s title refers to health professions in general.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
This is an easy to read book which clearly presents some of the underlying educational frameworks and theories while presenting tips for practical applications. Some of the strategies offered are indeed creative and I look forward to adapting them and trying them in my own environment. However, the majority of strategies are just solid, common sense, practical suggestions that any beginning clinical preceptor should be aware of early on in their career.
For non-nursing preceptors reading this book, simply be aware that you may need to adapt to your own realities several of the practical tips provided, and may need to research the literature within your own health profession.
There are multiple pages of references offered in this text. I would have liked to see these references separated into those that are directly referred to in the text and those that are useful in continuing to read more globally around the topics discussed in each chapter. The amount of references can get overwhelming for someone who is looking to read more in-depth about a topic but does not want to pull up multiple individual study articles. As an example, there is a brief description of the steps to follow when developing a case study. The description is sufficient to get a taste of how case study development is generally done, but probably too vague to truly allow a beginner to feel comfortable with the process. This would be a great time to refer directly to a handout/article/etc that provides a more in-depth explanation with perhaps some examples. A few similar examples could also be listed here.
I would question what appears to be an endorsement of Carolina Health Care Systems in Chapter 5. There are several Canadian, American and international companies that provide a wide variety of task trainers. While I understand that Carolina HCS was offered as an example, it was then followed by a page-long table of hyperlinked links to various training equipment, most of which would be incredibly difficult for individual preceptors to afford. The optics are also those of an endorsement of this one particular company, as opposed to having links to several different trainers offered by different companies. Considering how much flack health professions get for being "bought" and controlled by commercial and pharmaceutical company, how to present industry-linked information is certainly an interesting dilemma.