Traditional Poster Round
Background: : Simulation has been increasingly used in undergraduate medical education to provide a means for teaching technical and non-technical skills, and allow for application of learned knowledge without causing patient harm. (1) Simulation workshops tailored for the learning needs of pediatric medical students are uncommon in New Zealand due to resource constraints such as lack of time, personnel, and access to appropriate space or equipment. A pediatric undergraduate simulation workshop was developed navigating these challenges, based on four common pediatric presentations, and an evaluation conducted of its utility from students’ perspectives over a 16 month period.
Research Question: : Our aim was to evaluate the utility of our simulation workshop, exploring two research questions: 1) What do students learn from the workshop? 2) What do students find useful from the workshop?
Methodology: : Students attended one simulation workshop during their paediatric attachment. Evaluation of the utility of the workshop was completed using anonymised questionnaires. The usefulness of the learning exercise and appropriateness of the level of difficulty of the scenarios were evaluated using Likert scales and analysed using descriptive statistics. Free text qualitative data were gathered exploring learning points encountered during the workshop, and what students found useful. Data was coded by two independent coders and analysed using NVivo software. Member checking occurred to ensure trustworthiness and an inductive thematic content analysis performed by two researchers until thematic saturation was achieved.
Results: : All 101 students who participated in the workshops were surveyed. All students strongly agreed (95%) or agreed (5%) that the learning exercise was useful. 96% of students thought that the difficulty of the cases were appropriate to their level of experience. Key learning points encountered included the importance of utilizing a structure and having effective communication skills, the application of learned theoretical knowledge and the negotiation of complex human factors involved in an acute clinical context. Thematic analysis of student feedback identified several useful aspects of the workshop in addition to the learning points encountered, including the supportive learning environment, the opportunity to both actively participate and learn vicariously, the designed scenarios fostering autonomy and a sense responsibility not otherwise experienced during their training, and the debriefing content and process.
Discussion/Conclusions: : Simulation is a useful and effective learning tool for paediatric medical students when tailored appropriately to their level of experience. It encourages application of learned knowledge and learning of technical and non-technical skills when facilitated within a safe learning climate. Our experience suggests that even in a resource constrained environment, it is feasible to conduct a simulation programme that addresses the educational needs of undergraduate students.