Medical Students' Perceptions of a Simulation-based Course in Acute Care Medicine
CCCF ePoster library. Kyra Moura C. 11/11/19; 283434; EP5
Claire Moura & Kyra Moura
Claire Moura & Kyra Moura
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Topic: Education

Moura, Claire1Moura, Kyra2, Binnie, Alexandra3,4

1School of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada; 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; 3Critical Care Department, William Osler Health System, Brampton, Canada; 4Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal

Introduction: Care and management of the acutely-ill patient is integral to a range of specialties yet is not widely taught in undergraduate medical education1,2,3. Simulation offers a unique way to introduce resuscitation skills to undergraduate medical trainees in a low-risk and low-stress environment in order to better prepare them for residency. A simulation course consisting of 8 sessions over 8 months was developed to teach basic skills in the management of the acutely-ill patient to all 3rdyear medical students in a 4-year post-graduate medical school in Faro, Portugal. Students received an extended “pre-briefing” before each simulation scenario to contextualize the scenario and provide them with a framework for approaching the clinical problem. This study was designed to investigate student reactions and perceived learning after completion of the course.
Objectives: To evaluate student perceptions and opinions regarding a full-year simulation course in the care of the acutely-ill patient. 
Methods: A survey link was distributed by email to all third year medical students. The 10-item questionnaire included a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions. Questions regarding the level of difficulty, the perceived learning, and the value of the course for their future careers in medicine were included. Demographic information regarding participants' education prior to medical school was also collected.
Results: The survey was distributed to all 3rdyear medical students with a response rate of 82.5% (n = 33/40). The course was very well-received by the respondees with a majority reporting the interest level of the course as “high” or “very high” (97%), the value of the course for their 3rdyear of medical school as “high” or “very high” (97%), and the value of the course for their future careers as “high” or “very high” (94%). Students felt that it contributed positively to their knowledge of taking a rapid history (100%), using the ABCDE approach (100%), assessing and treating patients with organ failures (100%), working in a team (97%), leading a team (94%), and initiating basic and advanced life support maneuvers (97% and 100%). A majority of students felt that the pre-briefing sessions were either very useful or mandatory (94%) in order to complete the subsequent simulation scenarios. Students with a nursing background (33%) rated individual simulation sessions lower than their non-nursing peers but rated the overall course more highly in terms of its value for their future careers.
Qualitative analysis of open-ended questions indicated that students liked the opportunity to work in a team, the chance to apply and test knowledge, the contextual framework provided by the pre-briefings, and the overall quality of the teaching. Suggestions for improvement included increasing the number of sessions as well as providing written materials to assist with knowledge consolidation.
Conclusion: A simulation-based course in the care of the acutely ill patient was extremely well-received by 3rdyear medical students in a 4-year post-graduate medical school curriculum who felt that it contributed positively to their learning. Simulation is a low-risk strategy for introducing acute care skills to early-stage medical trainees. Future research should examine student performance to confirm the utility of simulation training in teaching resuscitation skills to pre-graduate medical trainees.

1Fessler, H. E. (2012). 'Undergraduate medical education in critical care.' Crit Care Med40(11): 3065-3069.


2Smith, C. M., et al. (2007). 'Undergraduate training in the care of the acutely ill patient: a literature review.' Intensive Care Med33(5): 901-907.


3McEvoy, M. D., et al. (2014). 'Are fourth-year medical students as prepared to manage unstable patients as they are to manage stable patients?' Acad Med89(4): 618-624.

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