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Ward calls not so scary for medical students after interprofessional simulation course: a mixed-methods cohort evaluation study
  1. Tanisha Jowsey1,
  2. Tsu-Chieh Wendy Yu1,
  3. Gihan Ganeshanantham1,
  4. Jane Torrie2,
  5. Alan F Merry3,
  6. Warwick Bagg3,
  7. Kira Bacal4,
  8. Jennifer Weller1
  1. 1 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. 3 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  4. 4 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Administration, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tanisha Jowsey, Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, Auckland City Hospital, University of Auckland, Auckland 0629, New Zealand; t.jowsey{at}


Background An interprofessional simulation ‘ward call’ course—WardSim—was designed and implemented for medical, pharmacy and nursing students. We evaluated this intervention and also explored students’ experiences and ideas of both the course and of ward calls.

Methods We used a mixed-methods cohort study design including survey and focus groups. Descriptive statistical analysis and general purpose thematic analysis were undertaken.

Results Survey respondents who participated in WardSim subsequently attended more ward calls and took a more active role than the control cohort, with 34% of the intervention cohort attending ward calls under indirect supervision, compared with 15% from the control cohort (P=0.004). Focus group participants indicated that the situation they were most anxious about facing in the future was attending a ward call. They reported that their collective experiences on WardSim alleviated such anxiety because it offered them experiential learning that they could then apply in real-life situations. They said they had learnt how to work effectively with other team members, to take on a leadership role, to make differential diagnoses under pressure and to effectively communicate and seek help.

Conclusions An interprofessional, simulated ward call course increased medical students’ sense of preparedness for and participation in ward calls in the next calendar year.

  • interprofessional
  • simulation < teaching and learning
  • education environment
  • decision-making
  • medicine
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  • Contributors All authors were involved at various stages in the design of the study. GG, JT and JW developed the intervention and designed the study. GG, JT, JW, AFM, WB and KB contributed to the establishment of WardSim. TJ and GG facilitated the focus groups and TWY administered the survey. TJ and TWY led the qualitative analysis and TWY led the quantitative analysis. TJ, TWY, JW and GG contributed to the first draft of the manuscript. All authors contributed to manuscript revisions and read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding Internal funding was received from the University of Auckland to cover costs of focus group transcription.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (reference 011846).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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