Core Competencies for a New Vision for Health Professions Education

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CoreCompetencies for a New Vision for Health Professions Education

CoreCompetencies for a New Vision for Health Professions Education

Healthcarechallenges that manifest can be tackled with the application of aframework of core competencies by the health professionals. Taking alook at the state of healthcare is imperative. Health care, asestablished by Rubenfeld and Scheffer (2015) is confronted by manychallenges. One issue that has seen significant publicizing takesnote of the medical errors that occur in the healthcare system(Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015). Quality health care is required,which means that the providers must be equipped with the necessarytools that allow them to offer the same. As evidenced by Rubenfeldand Scheffer (2015), “laying a better groundwork” in theeducation of the care practitioners is imperative for realizingquality patient care provision. In the quest to realize the betterground work in the education of healthcare professionals, the essenceof core competencies is paramount. The paper will seek to look at theCore Competencies that are necessary for the health careprofessionals. A reflective narrative into the relation of the corecompetencies to individual nursing practice will be addressed.

TheCore Competencies

Corecompetencies are defined as the behaviorsthat are needed or are expected to be part and parcel of health carepractice (Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015). The said competencies can beassessed meaning that they are not just a mere list ofrecommendations that can be adopted for the purpose of health careimprovement (Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015). The core competenciesthat ought to be adopted as part of the education of healthpractitioners as identified by Rubenfeld and Scheffer (2015) include

TheProvision of Patient-centred Care, Working in Teams that areInterdisciplinary, Employment of Evidence-based Practice, Applicationof Quality Improvement and the Utilization of Informatics. Using aworkplace example, a reflective analysis of how the competencies asmentioned earlier can be adopted in practice is as follows.

Provisionof Patient-centred Care

Thiscompetency, as noted by Rubenfeld and Scheffer (2015) is concernedwith the identification, care, and respect, of the differences thatmanifests in the patients` values, preferences, needs regardingrelief of pain. The competency further upholds patient education,shared decision-making, and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle forthe population (Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015).

Workingin Teams that are Interdisciplinary

Thiscompetency is concerned with collaborations, integration,collaborations and communication, in such a manner that continuouscare is fostered (Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015).

Employmentof Evidence-based Practice

Thecompetency addresses the integration of research, the values of thepatient, and clinical practice, for the aim of achieving optimum care(Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015).

Applicationof Quality Improvement

Thecompetency constitutes error and hazard identification,implementation of safety principles, understanding and measuringquality care, and the design of interventions, which are aimed atchanging processes and systems, with the objective of qualityimprovement in mind (Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015).

Utilizationof Informatics

Thiscompetency is concerned with communication, error mitigation,knowledge management, and sound decision making, by the use ofinformation Technology (IT) (Rubenfeld and Scheffer, 2015).

TheRelation between the Core Competencies and Long Term Care

Whenlooking at my field of long-term care, it is apparent that the fivecore competencies relate. Nursing, which includes long-term care, isconcerned with the social contact between the patient and thecaregiver, where professional rights are considered to be imperativeto public responsibilities. Long term care is concerned with offeringnursing duties that foster the quality of care offerings to thepatients indiscriminately while maintaining the integrity of thepatient, code of ethics, and standards. The nurses in long-term careaddress to the various needs of the patients of all types, who areeither ill or healthy by the use of physical and social science,technology and nursing theories.

Allsituations in long-term care have strong evidence that can guide ahealthcare professional in managing it, but they continue to bepersistent in the society. Research has shown that people withdementia usually have pain just like other people and it should betreated although they cannot verbalize it (Spetcht, 2013). Severalpractices exist for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcersthat are not used in long-term care. Health care professionalsunderstand that if an individual has an indwelling catheter for morethan twenty-four hours, he is likely to suffer from a urinary tractinfection and, therefore, it is essential to minimize the use ofcatheter. Despite the presence of this important evidence, the numberof people with indwelling catheters keeps on increasing at alarmingrate, thus increasing the number of individuals with urinary tractinfections (Spetcht, 2013). The existence of these problems shows thefailure of healthcare professionals to use the available evidence intheir practices. The availability of enough research evidencesupports the evidence-based practice which is important and act asone of the most important core competencies in nursing practice. Theavailable research evidence can be used in conjunction withhealthcare expertise and principles to ensure delivery of qualitypatient-cantered care.

Researchevidence can be used to formulate guidelines for the continuousimprovement of clinical practices in long-term care. Research hasdemonstrated that the implementation of EPB leads to the delivery ofhigher quality care that is more patient-cantered (Spetcht, 2013)


Inmy organization, however none of the five core competencies arefully integrated into the care system. As part of my long-term care,I have a morbidly obese patient who is both asthmatic and allergic toalmost everything including fragrances. In the event a staff memberuses fabric softener to wash his/her clothes, the patient canimmediately sense this and would react by displaying episodes ofwheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms. Insuch scenarios, the patient ends up being transferred to theemergency room, and on two instances the patient received a trachealintubation.

Fromthe case, it is apparent that my care has failed on multipleaccounts. I failed to provide patient-centred care, given that myplan of care did not sufficiently individualize the asthmatic statusof the patient. I did not collaborate with other colleagues inidentifying an individualized care plan for my asthmatic patient. Ifailed to employ evidence-based care for the patient, whereself-management skills would be offered to the patient regardingasthma management. The organization did not apply quality improvementmethods. This is evidenced by the fact that the patient on twooccasions my patient suffered asthma attacks that required admissionto the ER. The asthma database was in place in the organization, butit was not utilized to foster quality care. Finally, the organizationfailed in having specific people monitoring the asthma database andthus compiles reports on trends that would be used to instigatequality care, particularly when looking at the plight of my asthmaticpatient.

Itis clear that my organization needs to fully adopt and implement thecore competencies in practice, starting with me, being the long-termcare nurse. Some of the proposed actions for improvement arepresented in Appendix 1.


Reformsto the health profession education are imperative. The corecompetencies can be used to foster adherence to the rules in areformed care system. Sadly, the way the healthcare practitioners areenforcing the core competencies shows loopholes, which interfere withaddressing the healthcare needs of the American population. It isabout time that changes in the healthcare scene take effect, with thefull implementation of the core competencies as the driving tools.


Rubenfeld,M. G., &amp Scheffer, B. K. (2015). Criticalthinking tactics for Nurses: Achieving the IOM Competencies.

Specht,J. K. (2013). Evidence based practice in long term care settings.Journalof Korean Academy of Nursing,43(2),145-153.


Appendix 1

Core Competencies for a New Vision for Health Professions Education Chart

Provision of Patient Centred Care

Working in Interdisciplinary Teams

Employment of Evidence-based Practice

Application of Quality Improvement

Utilization of Informatics

-Show care to the patients’ differences

– Promote collaborations as a means for fostering quality care

-Integration of research and clinical practice facilitated by learning and conduction of research activities

-Hazard and error identification

-Error mitigation by the use of IT (Database monitoring)

-Conduction of patient education

-Implementation of safety design

-Focus on population health

-Testing interventions, with the aim of QI