Traditional Poster Round
Simulation training for medical students in the management of the acutely unwell child
Tuesday, May 15
09:45 - 10:45
Location: The Gate, Atrium Level
Context: : Simulated based education is rapidly becoming more successfully utilised in under-graduate medical education. This may be especially important in paediatrics, where medical students have comparatively less clinical exposure than to adult medicine. Students may also have limited experience assessing acutely unwell children due to early senior involvement and the rapid resolution of clinical signs. Simulation may therefore be a valuable technique for aiding the education of medical students during their paediatric rotation.
Description: : An in-situ session consisting of a half-day of simulation teaching was put into practice during the fifth and final week of the final year medical student paediatric rotation at our hospital. The aims of the session were to improve medical student confidence with the assessment and initial management of the acutely unwell child, whilst also encouraging students to consider paediatrics as a career.
The simulation session consists of four clinical scenarios, selected to meet the medical student curriculum. Students approached these in pairs, covering aspects such as the ABCDE assessment, differential diagnoses, initial management (including prescribing in paediatrics) and concluding with escalation and handover to a senior colleague.
Observation/Evaluation: : 41 medical students have attended the session to date. 100% of students felt that participating in the simulation increased their confidence levels assessing and managing an acutely unwell child. Over 46% of students reported that they were more likely to consider a career in paediatrics following the session. The realism of the scenarios, safe learning environment and opportunity to apply their knowledge were all specifically noted in feedback.
Students commented on improved knowledge of specific paediatric emergencies as well as enhanced non-technical skills including communication, working within a team and decision making. Many students expressed a desire for more opportunities for simulation teaching in the future.
Discussion: : The above simulation session improves self-reported confidence levels and awareness of the management of the acutely unwell child. Many of the skills taught are transferable across many specialities. The session is highly valued by the medical student cohort, and continues to be run every five weeks with each group in their paediatric rotation. It may improve consideration of application to future paediatric training as part of the medical student rotation.
Further work may include comparing the post-course confidence levels and/or clinical assessments with a control group not exposed to the simulation course, and expanding the course across other teaching hospitals in the region. With only minimal adaptation the session may also be valued by students of other healthcare disciplines.