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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.

Topics: 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,

General Information


Keywords
Intended
Audience
Student,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,
Competencies
Addressed
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Educational
Continuum
UME,
Educational
Focus
Assessment,Simulation,Problem-Based Learning,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Samantha Kempner, MD, Michigan Medicine; Lauren Heidemann, MD; Julie Blaszczak, MD; Anita Malone, MD; Carrie Bell, MD; Helen Morgan, MD

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