The Innovative Use of a Paging Simulation to Assess Professionalism and Communication Competencies

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BACKGROUND:Communication and professionalism competencies present assessment challenges for medical educators at the undergraduate and graduate medical education levels. A simulated paging curriculum could provide an opportunity to assess and supply feedback on the level one milestone Professionalism and Communication competencies for medical students matching into OBGYN residencies.METHODS:Fourth-year medical students enrolled in a 4-week residency preparation course participated in a paging simulation curriculum consisting of six cases. A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) simulated the role of floor nurse and recorded the time from the page to a response time. After each case, the CNM assessed level one communication competencies for each student using a 100 mm visual analogue scale. The CNM assessed global effectiveness in communication using a 1–10 scale.RESULTS:A response time within 5 minutes occurred for 83% of the 171 pages sent. Sixty percent of pages were returned in under 3 minutes. The mean score for “respectful when communicating” and “cooperative when communicating” was 87 and 86%, respectively. Assessment of “structured when communicating” had a mean of 77% and “able to gather and share information” 75%. The overall mean score for global effectiveness of communication during the scenario was 9.DISCUSSION:The paging simulation offered a unique platform for the assessment of Professionalism and Communication level one competencies. While students were effective when communicating, structured conversation, and the ability to gather and share information might be improved. This curriculum provided an opportunity for informed feedback to individual students on these necessary skills in an OBGYN residency.

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