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0004 From Classroom To Ward: Undergraduate Education In Human Factors Leading To Clinical Application
  1. Nick Woodier1,
  2. Alison Dinning2
  1. 1Trent Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Undergraduate Nursing Education, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK


Background/context Human Factors (HFs) is now a familiar term to most healthcare professionals, but is poorly taught at undergraduate level. The focus on error as a combination of factors impacting on performance means that HFs education must be integrated into undergraduate curricula early. We aimed to introduce effective HFs education to medical students on their first clinical placement.

Methodology (used or planned) We incorporated a HFs station into a simulated patient workshop. Before the station, students are introduced to HF’s definitions and a model for identification1. Students then watch a six minute simulation containing HFs traps based on known incidents. Their task is to identify the factors impeding staff performance, followed by a group discussion exploring the factors and potential improvements. Students are surveyed before and after the workshop and one week later to identify sustained learning and application to the "real-world."

Results/outcomes (anticipated or recorded to date) To date, 84 students (10 nursing) have completed the session. Pre-session, 81% (42/52) felt that they had previously had no formal teaching on HFs. Post-session, 95% (80/84) felt that they had a basic understanding of HFs with 98% (82/84) feeling that they could start identifying influences in their workplace. The follow-up one week later suggested sustained learning with 100% (18/18) correctly defining (via MCQ) HFs. 12 students also identified areas for potential improvements in their clinical workplace based on the concepts learnt.

Potential impact A short introduction to HFs concepts with an interactive delivery leads to an improvement in understanding and a sustained increase in knowledge and ability to apply concepts to real clinical environments. This could potentially lead to identification of safety issues and areas where care could be improved for better patient outcomes.


  1. Civil Aviation Authority (2002). Fundamental Human Factors Concepts. CAP 719

  • Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration

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