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Simulated Paging Curriculum to Assess and Improve Communication Skills
Purpose: To examine the impact of a simulated paging curriculum for
senior medical students on physician-nurse communication skills.
Background: New residents are expected to triage and address a
high volume of clinical pages yet medical students receive little training in
this important skill. Previous studies have evaluated the impact of simulated
paging curricula on clinical decision making and student confidence but have
not examined the effect on communication skills.
Methods: Two trained Registered Nurses (RNs) administered
specialty-specific pages to 76 fourth-year medical students enrolled in 4-week
residency preparation electives. For each case, RNs evaluated students’
performances on seven communication domains using previously validated 5-point
semantic-differentiation scales (1=worst, 5=best) in precision, instruction,
assertiveness, direction, organization, engagement, and ability to solicit
information. Immediate feedback was provided to the students.
Results: A total of 351 pages were administered: 144 in week 1,
73 (week 2), 97 (week 3), and 37 (week 4). Students from all specialties
improved communication scores throughout the four weeks. Mean
communication scores increased from 4.02 to 4.26 from week 1 to week 2
(<0.0001). Improvement was most pronounced for the students going into
internal medicine (3.82 to 4.25) and pediatrics (3.95 to 4.38) and less
pronounced for the procedural specialties of surgery (4.26 to 4.22) and ob/gyn
(4.07 to 4.18). Communication skills continued to improve in weeks 3 and 4 but
with inadequate number of pages to power this comparison.
Discussions: Our data demonstrates that a simulated paging curriculum is a
promising platform for teaching and improving physician-nurse communication
skills for senior medical students.
General Ob-Gyn, Problem-Based Learning, Simulation, Assessment, UME, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Professionalism, Medical Knowledge, Patient Care, Clerkship Coordinator, Clerkship Director, Faculty, Student, 2019, CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting,