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Simulation in a high stakes clinical performance exam

Author(s): Peckler Brad | Schocken Dawn | Paula Richard

Journal: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
ISSN 0974-2700

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 85;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Education | simulation | testing

Background: Hi-fidelity simulation is becoming accepted as a teaching tool for medical providers. Advanced simulations allow educators to test difficult clinical scenarios. The goal of this study was to test the diagnostic and treatment skills of a third-year medical student faced with a simulated patient having evidence of a stable pneumothorax. Students are then expected to evaluate the teaching simulation in comparison to traditional methods. Methods: The case was one of a 12 cases in the "high stakes" Clinical Performance Exam. The patient with evidence of a stable pneumothorax was chosen to evaluate both diagnostic abilities and decision making in therapeutic options. Students were assessed using a university-wide standardized checklist: diagnosis, management, and interaction with the simulator. Immediately following the simulation, the students evaluated the experience. Results: The exam was given to 117 students. The correct diagnosis was made by 115/117 (98%). Treatment was considered acceptable in a majority of students, Send patient to the Emergency Department 77%, Oxygen 26% and Analgesia 39%. The follow-up survey completed by 78% of the students revealed the students felt comfortable with the simulators, but had concerns about the exam. Students liked the simulator as an educational tool 88% of the time. Conclusions: Simulation was used in a year-end exam and majority of students chose the correct diagnosis and treatment plan. It was also found that a significant percentage of students performed an unnecessary and potentially harmful procedure. The survey revealed that students were concerned about distractions and realism, but overall expressed desire for more education using simulation.
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