Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics

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COMSEP 2010 Albuquerque Meeting

A COMMUNICATION AND PROCEDURAL SKILLS CURRICULUM BLENDING WEB-BASED CASES, TASK TRAINERS AND STANDARDIZED PATIENTS

Authors:
Gayani P. Silva, MD, Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, Galveston, TX; Judith L. Rowen, MD, Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Background:  Despite previous training in history-taking, when beginning the pediatric clerkship, students have had very little practice talking to parents, children and teenagers. Therefore, we developed a plan to teach pediatric-specific communication skills.  Our goal was to integrate methods for teaching knowledge/content, communication skills, and procedural skills and to give students practice in a safe environment.  Objectives: 1. Blending Web-based Cases (WC), Task Trainers (TT) and Standardized Patients (SPs) 2. Using SP’s for student practice, not for evaluation 3. Promote residents-as-teachers. Method:  Students work through web-cases (built and delivered on Design-A-Case web authoring platform) to learn the medical content before proceeding to a practice session with an SP (communication) and task trainers (procedures).  Residents-as-teachers instruct students on doing procedures (Lumbar puncture) under faculty supervision. For a case of neonatal fever, students learn how to deliver difficult news (admitting infant for a sepsis workup), how to obtain consent, and how to perform a lumbar puncture.   For a case of 2-week old well-child visit, students learn how to use translators, counsel parents, and how to give IV and subcutaneous injections. For an adolescent well visit with asthma, students learn how to conduct a HEADS interview, discuss confidentiality, and how to use inhalers/spacers. For a chronic care case, students learn to respect parents’ expertise and learn gastrostomy and tracheostomy tube insertion. Evaluation: will be done via a student self-assessment, survey of students about efficacy and enjoyability of the curriculum, and performance on skills examinations. Early data suggest strong student satisfaction. Discussion: The innovative aspects of this curriculum are (a)  blending of various educational modalities (the webcase, task trainer session and SP session all focus on the same content),( b) use of SP’s for teaching/learning, not for evaluation, (c) using residents-as-teachers  and (d) inter professional teaching  (including asthma educators, nursing instructors; and offering these activities also to nursing students).