ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To communicate competencies to other healthcare professionals in the emergency department (ED) setting. METHOD: A system of competency badges has been developed that are awarded to junior doctors as and when they complete a structured skills assessment. RESULTS: Early assessment suggests that the merit badge system has great potential benefits to ED management. Junior doctors are motivated to complete skills assessments and thereby to obtain the relevant badge. Merit badges allow a rapid communication of attained skills to all healthcare professionals in the ED setting. The department will be fully compliant with the system by 1 April 2008. CONCLUSION: A competency badge system may aid ED management and promote skills-based learning in the ED.
Project description:The maintenance of honesty in a badge-of-status system is not fully understood, despite numerous empirical and theoretical studies. Our experiment examined the relationship between a status signal and winter survival, and the long-term costs of cheating, by manipulating badge size in male house sparrows, Passer domesticus. The effect of badge-size manipulation on survival was complex owing to the significant interactions between the treatments and original (natural) badge size, and between the treatments and age classes (yearlings and older birds). Nevertheless, in the experimental (badge-enlargement) group, males with originally large badges had increased winter survival, while males with originally small badges had decreased survival. This indicates that differential selection can act on a trait according to the degree of cheating.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To measure levels of, and change in junior doctor well-being, confidence and self-reported competence over their second postgraduate training year and the impact of emergency department (ED) placements on these outcomes. DESIGN:A longitudinal study using an online survey administered at four time points (2010-2011). SETTING:28 Acute Hospital Trusts, drawn from nine participating Postgraduate Deaneries in England. PARTICIPANTS:Junior doctors who had a placement in an ED as part of their second postgraduate training year. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Levels of anxiety, depression, motivation, job satisfaction, confidence and self-reported competence, collected at four time points spread over the period of the doctor's second training year (F2). RESULTS:217 junior doctors were recruited to the study. Over the year there was a significant increase in their overall job satisfaction, confidence and self-reported competence. Junior doctors also reported significantly increased levels of motivation and anxiety, and significantly decreased levels of extrinsic job satisfaction when working in ED compared with other specialties. There were also significant increases in both junior doctor confidence and self-reported competence after their placement in ED relative to other specialties. CONCLUSIONS:While elements of junior doctor well-being worsened in their ED placement compared with their time spent in other specialties, the increased levels of anxiety and reduced extrinsic job satisfaction were within the normal range for other healthcare workers. These deficits were also balanced by greater improvements in motivation, confidence in managing common acute clinical conditions and perceived competence in performing acute procedures compared with benefits offered by placements in other specialties.
Project description:As nearly all doctors deal with patients requiring palliative care, it is imperative that palliative care education starts early. This study aimed to validate a national, palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. We conducted a Delphi study with five groups of stakeholders (palliative care experts, physicians, nurses, curriculum coordinators, and junior doctors), inviting them to rate a competency list. The list was organized around six key competencies. For each competency, participants indicated the level to which students should have mastered the skill at the end of undergraduate training. Stability was reached after two rating rounds (N = 82 round 1, N = 54 round 2). The results showed high levels of agreement within and between stakeholder groups. Participants agreed that theoretical knowledge is not enough: Students must practice palliative care competencies, albeit to varying degrees. Overall, communication and personal development and well-being scored the highest: Junior doctors should be able to perform these in the workplace under close supervision. Advance care planning scored the lowest, indicating performance in a simulated setting. A wide range of stakeholders validated a palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. This framework can be used to guide teaching about palliative care.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Low-dose methoxyflurane is a non-opioid, inhaled analgesic administered via the Penthrox inhaler and was recently licensed in Europe for emergency relief of moderate-to-severe trauma-associated pain in conscious adults. This non-interventional study investigated occupational exposure to methoxyflurane in the hospital emergency department (ED) personnel during routine clinical practice. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:The study was conducted in two hospital ED triage rooms in France over a 2-week and 3-week period, respectively. Low-dose methoxyflurane analgesia was self-administered by patients via the inhaler under the supervision of nursing staff, per routine clinical practice. An organic vapour personal badge sampler was attached to the uniform of the nurses working in the treatment rooms throughout an 8-hour shift (total of 140 shifts during the study period). Seven-day ambient air monitoring of each treatment room was also performed. Methoxyflurane levels adsorbed in each badge sampler were measured by a central laboratory. The primary objective was to evaluate methoxyflurane exposure experience by the hospital ED nurses during an 8-hour shift. RESULTS:In 138 badge samplers, the median (range) concentration of methoxyflurane present following 8-hour nursing shifts was 0.017 (0.008, 0.736) ppm. This level was almost 900-fold lower than the previously reported 8-hour-derived maximal exposure level of 15 ppm; methoxyflurane exposure approaching this threshold was not documented in any badges. There was no correlation between the number of applications of low-dose methoxyflurane administered during a shift (range 0-5) and the vapour exposure measured on the personal badge samplers. CONCLUSIONS:This study indicates that nurses working in hospital EDs experience very low levels of occupational exposure to methoxyflurane vapour during routine clinical practice. These real-world data can provide reassurance to healthcare providers supervising patients receiving low-dose methoxyflurane analgesia via a Penthrox inhaler; further studies may inform exposure in other hospital ED settings.
Project description:Because of the European Working-Time Directive and 'the New Deal', there has been a significant reduction in opportunities for training. To address this deficit, consultants and junior doctors will need to alter their approach, making greater use of the learning opportunities that arise 'on the job'. This paper provides some ideas on how to maximise learning without radically increasing workload. The paper first looks at attitudes and behaviours that influence the learning environment. If the senior doctor encourages discussion and shows enthusiasm during clinical duties, junior doctors will learn more. Second, the paper focuses on key skills that can be adopted to ensure appropriate learning. These attitudes, behaviours and skills can help consultants and senior doctors improve the effectiveness of their teaching in an era when the time available for junior doctors to learn has been reduced.
Project description:Minor emergency departments (ED) struggle to access sufficient expertise to supervise learners of lung and cardiac point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). Using tele-ultrasound (tele-US) for remote supervision may remedy this situation. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of real-time supervision via tele-US when applied to an everyday ED clinic. We conducted a mixed methods study that assessed practical feasibility, determined performance, and explored users' acceptability of supervision via tele-US. Technical performance was assessed quantitatively by the ratio in mean gray value between images on site and as received by the supervisor, and by after-compression frame rate. Qualitatively, 12 exploratory semi-structured interviews were conducted with exposed junior doctors and supervisors. Remote supervision via tele-US was performed with 10 junior doctors scanning 45 included patients. During performance assessment, neither alternating internet connection nor software significantly changed the mean gray value ratio. The lowest median frame rate of 4.6 (interquartile range [IQR]: 3.1-5.0) was found by using a 4G internet connection; the highest of 28.5 (IQR: 28.5-29.0) was found with alternative computer and local area network internet connection. In interviews, supervisors stressed the importance of preserving frame rate, and junior doctors emphasized a need for shared ultrasound terminology. In the qualitative analysis, setup mobility, accessibility, and time consumption were emphasized as being of key importance for future clinical implementations. Remote supervision via a commercially available and low-cost tele-US setup is operational for both junior doctors and supervisors when applied to lung and cardiac POCUS scans of hospitalized patients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Junior doctors lack confidence and competence in handling the critically ill patient including diagnostic skills, decision-making and team working with other health care professionals. Simulation-based training on managing emergency situations can have substantial effects on satisfaction and learning. However, there are indications of problems when applying learned skills to practice. Our aim was to identify first-year doctors' perceptions, reflections and experiences on transfer of skills to a clinical setting after simulation-based training in handling critically ill patients.<h4>Methods</h4>We used a qualitative approach and conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with a sample of twenty first-year doctors six months after a 4-day simulation-based training course in handling critically ill patients. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. A content-analysis approach was used to analyse the data.<h4>Results</h4>The following main themes were identified from the interviews: preparedness for clinical practice, organisational readiness, use of algorithms, communication, teamwork, situational awareness and decision making. The doctors gave several examples of simulation-based training increasing their preparedness for clinical practice and handling the critically ill patient. The usefulness of algorithms and the appreciation of non-technical skills were highlighted and found to be helpful in managing clinical difficulties. Concern was expressed related to staff willingness and preparedness in using these tools.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Overall, the simulation-based training seemed to facilitate the transition from being a medical student to become a junior doctor. The doctors experienced an ability to transfer the use of algorithms and non-technical skills trained in the simulated environment to the clinical environment. However, the application of these skills was more difficult if these skills were unfamiliar to the surrounding clinical staff.<h4>Trial registration</h4>Not applicable.
Project description:Background:Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgery is a niche and unique specialty that has been recognized as being poorly taught throughout medical school and postgraduate training. Junior doctors who rotate into this specialty often find it hard and struggle to manage patients. Aims: The aim of this study was to devise a junior doctor-focused induction program with specific emphasis on shadowing and partnered working to improve confidence and competence. Methods:Feedback from previous trainees was used to identify valuable training opportunities within the 4-month rotation. Trainers identified clinical areas where supported learning could be delivered. Trainees were allocated to rotate between theater, ward, on-call shifts, and acute clinics. The degree of time spent in each area was analyzed in order to balance service provision vs learning needs. Furthermore, novel strategies were introduced in each session to maximize learning experiences. Junior doctors were aware of the opportunities that would be available to them at the start of the rotation. In order to assess whether the aims were met, a questionnaire survey was used to assess exposure to core ENT practical skills and junior doctors' confidence levels in carrying them out unsupervised. Results:Junior doctors spent 40% of their time assessing new acute admissions. Twenty percent of time was spent in ENT clinic, but novel practical methods of induction were introduced such as 1 week of directly supervised shadowing, followed by a transition period with regular debrief. A three-stage model was used to offer training in practical procedures in the clinical setting. Over half of the trainees felt confident in undertaking 50% of the core ENT procedures unsupervised. Conclusion:Our study reveals that giving junior doctors a relevant, focused and appropriate induction helps orientate them, give them the opportunity to ask questions, and also find their grounding in order to begin working. Having dedicated time to shadow and be with a colleague to assess and treat patients initially, with ongoing telephone and in person support, ensured that their confidence and competence improved very quickly. It also improved workplace satisfaction and motivated doctors to undertake self-directed learning and improve and enhance their skills beyond the minimum.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>The Badges Program is a self-directed supplement to a program's research curriculum. This step-by-step resource helps medical residents to understand the resources needed to conduct their own research project and fulfill the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirements for scholarly activity.<h4>Methods</h4>The curriculum is completed over varying amounts of time depending on the intricacy of scholastic activities. Simple case reports may take as little as 1-2 weeks whereas months to years may be required if residents are completing more intricate and elaborate projects. Associated materials include a guide organized by topic followed by sequentially completed task assignments demonstrating the user has gained a basic understanding of the corresponding objective. Upon completing a task, the user obtains its educational badge, a virtual certificate of completion the program can then track with a simple checklist for progress. Several supplementary online articles review core concepts or provide examples and web-based tutorials for becoming proficient with using reference software. No faculty training is necessary. Residents go through the steps necessary to perform research so as to gain familiarity with the process.<h4>Results</h4>Qualitative feedback obtained by informally surveying residents who have completed the Badges Program has been very positive, with residents reporting that the guide was easy to follow and the knowledge gained will help tremendously with future projects.<h4>Discussion</h4>We hope that with feedback, this resource will be expanded and refined so every resident will be able to use the Badges Program regardless of previous skills, experience, and publications.