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BMJ Open 2:e001298 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001298
  • Medical education and training
    • Research

A metric-based analysis of structure and content of telephone consultations of final-year medical students in a high-fidelity emergency medicine simulation

  1. John D McAdoo2
  1. 1School of Medicine, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
  2. 2Advanced Southern Simulation and Training (ASSET) Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patrick Henn; p.henn{at}ucc.ie
  • Received 8 May 2012
  • Accepted 15 August 2012
  • Published 13 September 2012

Abstract

Objectives In this study we aimed to analyse the structure and content of telephone consultations of final-year medical students in a high-fidelity emergency medicine simulation. The purpose was to identify any areas of deficiency within structure and content in the effective transfer of clinical information via the telephone of final-year medical students.

Design An educational study.

Setting Simulation centre in a medical school.

Participants 113 final-year medical students.

Primary and secondary outcomes The primary outcome was to analyse the structure and content of telephone consultations of final-year medical students in a high-fidelity emergency medicine simulation. The secondary outcome was to identify any areas of deficiency within structure and content in the effective transfer of clinical information via the telephone of final-year medical students.

Results During phone calls to a senior colleague 30% of students did not positively identify themselves, 29% did not identify their role, 32% did not positively identify the recipient of the phone call, 59% failed to positively identify the patient, 49% did not read back the recommendations of their senior colleague and 97% did not write down the recommendations of their senior colleague.

Conclusions We identified a deficiency in our students skills to communicate relevant information via the telephone, particularly failure to repeat back and write down instructions. We suggest that this reflects a paucity of opportunities to practice this skill in context during the undergraduate years. The assumption that this skill will be acquired following qualification constitutes a latent error within the healthcare system. The function of undergraduate medical education is to produce graduates who are fit for purpose at the point of graduation.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode.

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