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A novel inter-varsity simulation pilot study

Oral Presentation 2
Dr Carol Wilson, Dr Neil Kinnear

A novel inter-varsity simulation pilot study.

Upon graduation, junior doctors are expected to have the knowledge and skills required to manage common medical emergencies. Medical students often report anxiety and under preparedness for such situations, struggling to integrate taught clinical skills into clinical practice. Simulation has been shown to provide a unique educational opportunity superior to traditional didactic methods. Currently the first cohort of students from a new medical school are on placement alongside students from an established medical school.

This pilot study aims to evaluate the impact of an intervarsity simulation curriculum in this unique group.

Simulated sessions were offered weekly for 10 weeks and focused on the management of one curriculum based medical emergency. Each session involved a pre-teaching simulation, followed by a teaching session, with a final post-teaching simulation. Specific skills training was embedded throughout (e.g. fluid and medication prescribing). All students on placement at Causeway Hospital were invited which included students from Queens University Belfast and the first cohort of students from Ulster University. Sessions were evaluated in a voluntary, anonymised, online post course questionnaire.

After the simulated sessions, students reported increased confidence in the assessment, recognition and management of an unwell patient. The embedded clinical skills groupwork was rated highly with particular benefit gained from real-time tutor feedback. Students identified this as a potential gap in their clinical skills which was addressed by these sessions. Participants had positive opinions of the sandwiched teaching to consolidate knowledge and clinical skills. They enjoyed the “real life” scenarios indicating that they would be helpful in progression to their role as junior doctors. The opportunity to work with students from a different university was highly valued. Students noted that it was a safe environment to learn from and with each other, and served as a good “ice-breaker”. Junior year groups, in particular, reported benefiting from watching more experienced students.

This novel pilot intervarsity simulated teaching program provided a safe, highly valued educational experience for students from two universities to work together for the first time in the management of common medical emergencies.