Clinical Teaching

Thank you for taking on the important role of helping our students practice to become talented and knowledgeable clinicians. Your role is invaluable.

That classroom teaching is sometimes called “protected” teaching sheds a contrasting light on clinical teaching. There are so many more factors impacting clinical teaching and those factors shift and change much more so than any classroom. These conditions lead to a dynamic and exciting learning environment, certainly, but one that can be unpredictable as well and can lead to “learning outcomes [that are] intentional or unintentional, positive or negative.” (Jarski, Kulig, & Olson, 1990).

With planning and reflection, clinical teachers can learn to use the dynamism of their learning environments to the advantage of their students. The real world clinical setting lets students watch master clinicians in action. It allows them to take the theoretical knowledge they’ve gained from their classroom learning and put it into practice, setting them on the road to becoming master clinicians themselves.

The guides in the Clinical Teaching section are intended to help clinical teachers make the experience a positive one, both for them and their students. Work through them systematically or drop in on the topics that concern you most.

Clinical Teaching Roles, Styles, & Behaviors

Incorporating Students into Daily Practice

Teaching with Patients

Feedback & Evaluation

Further Reading

Mastering Precepting: A Nurse’s Handbook for Success (Nursing Knowledge International)

Clinical Teaching Skills for Community Based Preceptors (University of British Columbia)

Mastering the Preceptor Role (Journal of Pediatric Health Care)

Characteristics of Effective Clinical Teachers (Family Medicine)


Jarski, R.W., Kulig, K., & Olson, R.E. (1990). Clinical teaching in physical therapy: Student and teacher perceptions. Physical Therapy, 70, 173-178.

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