Clinical skills

You’ll spend a lot of time with patients/clients in your role as part of the health care team. This means you’ll have lots of opportunities to observe your patients/clients, to monitor how they’re progressing and to spot any problems early.

Part of your observing and monitoring will involve using a set of clinical skills that we’re going to look at in this section. Understanding how to, for instance, assess patients’/clients’ breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure and body temperature, and what your assessments mean for the patient’s/clients’ welfare, are key skills you’ll acquire. This section provides an overview of some of the clinical skills you may learn for your role but must be supported by practice and supervision at work. You will need to learn the skills under observation and be assessed as competent in these activities at your workplace. You need to ensure that you keep your skills up to date and remember at all times to adhere to your organisational policies and procedures.

We’ll also look at the importance of using your time with patients/clients to help them understand the benefits of adopting healthy lifestyles, and we’ll consider the steps you need to take when you’re checking a new patient/client for the first time.

Next topic: Clinical observations