Background/context Final year medical students at Nottingham University Medical School participate in a simulated ward-round. The focus of the simulation is on assuming the role of an F1 doctor, and completing administrative tasks arising from the ward round. We set out to determine whether the course replicated similar anxiety levels to that of a real ward round.
Methodology 38 participants of the simulated ward round were given questionnaires consisting of 10 likert-scale statements pertaining to their emotional response to a simulated ward round, and to a real ward round.
Results/outcomes 22 out of 38 students responded (58%). Students felt more observed on the simulated round (71.4% vs 18.2%), however, the anxiety caused by the registrar/consultant was the same in both (42.9%). Students’ confidence in what to do was similar in both rounds (42.9% in sim vs 38.1%), however, students who took part in the sim round first were far more confident in their real ward rounds (60.0% vs 31.3%) however stress levels were unchanged. Students were also happier making mistakes in the sim round (71.43% vs 27.2%)
Conclusions and recommendations While everyone is rightly enthusiastic about the learning outcomes in simulation teaching, we must be mindful of the psychological effects of scrutiny and "simulation stress" on students and their detrimental effects on learning. This simulation appears to have been no more stressful than a typical ward round, and if done in advance, enables students to approach real ward rounds with more confidence. We plan to follow this up by further quantifying stress levels in both environments.
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- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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