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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Simulation-based training of junior doctors in handling critically ill patients facilitates the transition to clinical practice: an interview study

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BACKGROUND: Junior doctors lack confidence and competence in handling the critically ill patient including diagnostic skills, decision-making and team working with other health care professionals. Simulation-based training on managing emergency situations can have substantial effects on satisfaction and learning. However, there are indications of problems when applying learned skills to practice. Our aim was to identify first-year doctors' perceptions, reflections and experiences on transfer of skills to a clinical setting after simulation-based training in handling critically ill patients.

METHODS: We used a qualitative approach and conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with a sample of twenty first-year doctors six months after a 4-day simulation-based training course in handling critically ill patients. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. A content-analysis approach was used to analyse the data.

RESULTS: The following main themes were identified from the interviews: preparedness for clinical practice, organisational readiness, use of algorithms, communication, teamwork, situational awareness and decision making. The doctors gave several examples of simulation-based training increasing their preparedness for clinical practice and handling the critically ill patient. The usefulness of algorithms and the appreciation of non-technical skills were highlighted and found to be helpful in managing clinical difficulties. Concern was expressed related to staff willingness and preparedness in using these tools.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the simulation-based training seemed to facilitate the transition from being a medical student to become a junior doctor. The doctors experienced an ability to transfer the use of algorithms and non-technical skills trained in the simulated environment to the clinical environment. However, the application of these skills was more difficult if these skills were unfamiliar to the surrounding clinical staff.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Not applicable.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume19
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)11
ISSN1472-6920
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019

ID: 56392291