Assist students to integrate all relevant information and make decisions collaboratively
The step of ‘Applying’ in EBP can be an intellectually complex step, requiring the integration of multiple factors and perspectives. When deciding how to act on information that has been acquired, relevant personal details and perspectives must be considered (e.g., socio-cultural factors) along with relevant clinical experience and context-specific resources and constraints. Organisational culture is critical because it can either enable or hinder appropriate EBP decision-making and actions. For example, an EBP process may indicate that an existing protocol should be updated; ideally, an organisation will be responsive to the best evidence currently available. Critical reasoning and collaboration is required to ensure that any EBP decision is realistic in the given setting, client-centred, and ethical.
Prompts for facilitating 'Applying'
- What situational factors, resources, and constraints need to be considered in deciding how to act on the information?
- Whose perspectives do you need to consider when deciding how to proceed?
- What aspects of the information need to be explained to each stakeholder?
- When and how will you explain the information to each stakeholder?
Prompts for assessing 'Applying'
- How did you act on the information you acquired, and why?
- How did you inform and collaborate with others (e.g. clients, other practitioners, managers, other stakeholders) in deciding how to act?
- Can you give an example of where you have integrated evidence with client perspectives in determining care?
General tips & strategies for 'Applying'
- Consider the entire context of the situation (including socio-cultural factors and practical constraints) prior to deciding how to act on acquired information.
- Appropriately tailored communication with all stakeholders is important, to ensure that EBP decisions are realistic, client-centred, and ethical.
- Placement supervisors can model elements of the step of Applying by discussing case studies with their students (e.g., client factors, relevant literature, and broader considerations). For experienced clinicians, this step is often conducted without explicit awareness. Talking about considerations aloud can be helpful to one’s own practice and to the student who is learning from this modelling.