Child Health Essential Skills Stations (CHESS): Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Undergraduate Child Health Clinical Skills Course

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Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Abstract:
Background

 Teaching undergraduate medical students clinical skills in a child health setting is a particular challenge for clinical educators. Students spend less time with pediatric patients and have fewer opportunities to practice clinical skills. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic further reduced students’ opportunities to observe and practice skills in the workplace. This has necessitated a greater shift towards teaching skills in a "skills lab" setting, which allows for simulated practice in a safe environment. This study reports the design, implementation, and evaluation of a standardized course that utilizes the "skills lab" to train undergraduate medical students in five clinical skills important to child health.

Objectives

 This study aimed to implement and evaluate a standardized undergraduate clinical skills course for child health and improve students' confidence in performing child health clinical skills.

Methods

 Evaluations were carried out over approximately one academic year, with a total of 174 participants from a single medical school in the United Kingdom. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected, examining students' self-reported confidence (pre- and post-course) along with free-text course evaluations. A paired t-test was used to calculate the mean difference in students' pre- and post-course confidence scores. Qualitative evaluations were analyzed for themes using framework analysis.

Results

 The students had greater confidence in all measured learning outcomes following the course. Qualitative data, examined using framework analysis, suggested that the course was valued by students, who felt it was relevant to their future practice. Numerous written comments suggested particular content and teaching methods that were strengths of the course, including practical elements, small group teaching, and feedback from tutors.

Conclusions

 Implementing a child health clinical skills course in a skills lab setting is feasible and valued by students. The course increased the self-reported confidence of the studied cohort and might therefore support them in practicing these skills with actual patients. Further studies are required to determine whether these effects demonstrate longevity and whether they translate to increased competence in performing the taught skills.

Language:
English
Published:
Journal of Medical Education, Volume:22 Issue: 1, Dec 2023
Page:
8
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