Journal Entry




PRAC 6665/6675 Clinical Skills 

Self-Assessment Form

Desired Clinical Skills for Students to Achieve

Confident (Can complete independently)

Mostly confident (Can complete with supervision)

Beginning (Have performed with supervision or needs supervision to feel confident)

New (Have never performed or does not apply)

Comprehensive psychiatric evaluation skills in: 

Recognizing clinical signs and symptoms of psychiatric illness across the lifespan


Differentiating between pathophysiological and psychopathological conditions 


Performing and interpreting a comprehensive and/or interval history and physical examination (including laboratory and diagnostic studies) 


Performing and interpreting a mental status examination 


Performing and interpreting a psychosocial assessment and family psychiatric history 


Performing and interpreting a functional assessment (activities of daily living, occupational, social, leisure, educational).


Diagnostic reasoning skill in:

Developing and prioritizing a differential diagnoses list


Formulating diagnoses according to DSM 5 based on assessment data 


Differentiating between normal/abnormal age-related physiological and psychological symptoms/changes


Pharmacotherapeutic1 skills in:

Selecting appropriate evidence based clinical practice guidelines for medication plan (e.g., risk/benefit, patient preference, developmental considerations, financial, the process of informed consent, symptom management) 


Evaluating patient response and modify plan as necessary 


Documenting (e.g., adverse reaction, the patient response, changes to the plan of care)


Psychotherapeutic Treatment Planning:

Recognizes concepts of therapeutic modalities across the lifespan


Selecting appropriate evidence based clinical practice guidelines for psychotherapeutic plan (e.g., risk/benefit, patient preference, developmental considerations, financial, the process of informed consent, symptom management, modality appropriate for situation) 


Applies age-appropriate psychotherapeutic counseling techniques with individuals and/or any caregivers


Develop an age appropriate individualized plan of care


Provide psychoeducation to individuals and/or any caregivers


Promote health and disease prevention techniques


Self-assessment skill:

Develop SMART goals for practicum experiences 


Evaluating outcomes of practicum goals and modify plan as necessary 


Documenting and reflecting on learning experiences


Professional skills:

Maintains professional boundaries and therapeutic relationship with clients and staff


Collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams to improve clinical practice in mental health settings 


Identifies ethical and legal dilemmas with possible resolutions


Demonstrates non-judgmental practice approach and empathy


Practices within scope of practice


Selecting and implementing appropriate screening instrument(s), interpreting results, and making recommendations and referrals:

Demonstrates selecting the correct screening instrument appropriate for the clinical situation 


Implements the screening instrument efficiently and effectively with the clients


Interprets results for screening instruments accurately


Develops an appropriate plan of care based upon screening instruments response


Identifies the need to refer to another specialty provider when applicable


Accurately documents recommendations for psychiatric consultations when applicable


Summary of strengths:

One of the notable strengths is my ability to use appropriate strategies in completing a physical examination that is comprehensive and precise. I consider the skill essential as it is necessary in obtaining the required information for clients' diagnoses. I plan to often put the skill into practice in medical wards and community health clinics to sustain it.

The second strength is efficiency in communication, both in writing and verbally, and collaboration with others. I uphold a positive attitude when engaging clients in communication and other team members in the healthcare facility. I always consider the communication skill extremely important because it helps me create an excellent association with my colleagues and my clients and maintain the relations. To sustain the skill, I plan on ensuring that I confirm a piece of information before reporting to other people involved.

Another strength I possess is the ability to empathize with other people, especially clients. The skill helps me handle clients who experience a wide range of psychological problems and physical challenges. It is vital to uphold the skill, especially when interacting with different kinds of patients with various issues, some of which might not be known. Therefore, frequently interacting with patients who express a diversity of emotions like anxiety, fear, depression, and anger requires empathy.

Opportunities for growth:

Given an opportunity, I would be eager to practice and continue to learn how to use the screen tools on patients and be able to interpret the results for the patients. As a nurse practitioner, it is critical to know how to use the screening tools and provide accurate information to provide appropriate conclusions based on the results. Additionally, exposure to patient diagnosis will improve my skills in using the correct tests on a client to make effective decisions accurately.

Another opportunity for growth is engaging in activities that promote health and disease prevention. From undertaking the exercises, I will develop skills to improve patients’ health through evidence-based practices while encouraging the individuals by providing services like counseling and other preventing services. One of the roles one is expected to play as a nurse is educating clients on the best techniques that avert disease to promote health. Therefore, participating in the activities will provide an opportunity to develop skills relating to prevention techniques.

Now, write three to four (3–4) possible goals and objectives for this practicum experience. Ensure that they follow the SMART Strategy, as described in the Learning Resources.

According to Judy Duchscher’s theory of Transition, transformation that occurs from a nursing student to a professional clinician depends on factors such as psychological, mental and physical factors (Almoayad, 2019). It is important to evaluate competence of nursing students before they transition to professional nurses. The possible goals and objectives for the practicum include the following:

· Goal: To acquire evaluation skills that applies to nursing.

· Objective: To assess signs and symptoms of different diseases.

· Objective: To analyze the examination results of patients.

· Objective: To interpret comprehensive diagnostic studies.

· Goal: To develop professional skills

· Objective: To identify professional boundaries that applies to nursing.

· Objective: To identify and analyze ethical and legal considerations in nursing workplace.

· Objective: To assess clinical practices in used in healthcare facilities

· Goal: To develop psychotherapeutic treatment planning skills.

· Objective: To identify therapeutic modalities concepts

· Objective: To identify appropriate evidence-based clinical practice guidelines

· Objective: To develop appropriate plan care for clients based on age

· Goal: To develop skills in pharmacotherapy

· Objective: To assess client’s response towards a plan

· Objective: To analyze factors that necessitate change of a plan

· Objective: To identify clients’ preferences based on a given medication plan



Almoayad, F. A. M. (2019). Learning during internship: Patient educator interns' experience of transition to workplace (Doctoral dissertation, University of Leeds).