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Hands on + hands free: simulated on-call interaction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Fisher, Dr Richard Martin


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BackgroundIn hospital, doctors and nurses frequently discuss acutely unwell patients via the telephone. Telephone communication can be challenging, yet medical students receive little training in how to conduct such interactions. We aimed to provide a simple, innovative, simulation session to address this learning need for third-year medical students at Newcastle University.MethodsGroups of students were given a pager and a supervising tutor. Students responded to a ‘bleep’ from a nurse practitioner in a different room, who role-played a ward nurse concerned about a patient. Speakerphones were used, allowing the entire conversation to be audible. After the call, a student-led debriefing session took place. After the debriefing another student ‘held’ the bleep and a different scenario ensued. Following a resuscitation scenario, students made telephone contact with the medical registrar to hand over information pertaining to the case. Before and after the session, students rated their confidence in telephone interaction and handover using a 10–point Likert scale. Students also completed a feedback questionnaire.ResultsFifty-four students attended the session. A statistically significant improvement in student confidence in telephone communication and handover was seen after the session. Free-text feedback highlighted that students had not received teaching on this previously, and that they welcomed opportunities to practise such skills within a controlled, safe environment.DiscussionSimulation training can be costly, but speakerphones are cheap and readily available. Given the frequency of telephone interaction in hospital, we believe all medical students should receive telephone communication training. Locally, our department has now incorporated these teaching methods into simulation sessions elsewhere in the curriculum.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fisher J, Martin R, Tate D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Teacher

Year: 2014

Volume: 11

Issue: 6

Pages: 425-428

Print publication date: 01/10/2014

Online publication date: 11/09/2014

Acceptance date: 01/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1743-4971

ISSN (electronic): 1743-498X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/tct.12180


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