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A survey-based cross-sectional study of doctors' expectations and experiences of non-technical skills for Out of Hours work

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Brown, M., Shaw, D., Sharples, S., Jeune, I. L. and Blakey, John (2015) 'A survey-based cross-sectional study of doctors' expectations and experiences of non-technical skills for Out of Hours work'. BMJ Open, Vol 5, Issue 2, e006102.

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Abstract

Objectives

The skill set required for junior doctors to work efficiently and safely Out of Hours (OoH) in hospitals has not been established. This is despite the OoH period representing 75% of the year and it being the time of highest mortality. We set out to explore the expectations of medical students and experiences of junior doctors of the non-technical skills needed to work OoH.

Design

Survey-based cross-sectional study informed by focus groups.

Setting

Online survey with participants from five large teaching hospitals across the UK.

Participants

300 Medical Students and Doctors

Outcome measure

Participants ranked the importance of non-technical skills, as identified by literature review and focus groups, needed for OoH care.

Results

The focus groups revealed a total of eight non-technical skills deemed to be important. In the survey ‘Task Prioritisation’ (mean rank 1.617) was consistently identified as the most important non-technical skill. Stage of training affected the ranking of skills, with significant differences for ‘Communication with Senior Doctors’, ‘Dealing with Clinical Isolation’, ‘Task Prioritisation’ and ‘Communication with Patients’. Importantly, there was a significant discrepancy between the medical student expectations and experiences of doctors undertaking work.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that medical staff particularly value task prioritisation skills; however, these are not routinely taught in medical schools. The discrepancy between expectations of students and experience of doctors reinforces the idea that there is a gap in training. Doctors of different grades place different importance on specific non-technical skills with implications for postgraduate training. There is a pressing need for medical schools and deaneries to review non-technical training to include more than communication skills.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 21 Medicine as a profession.
W General Medicine. Health Professions > Professional practice > W88 Administrative work. Teaching. Research
WX Hospitals and Other Health Facilities > Clinical Departments and Units > WX 203 Medical personnel. Interns. Staff manuals. Ward manuals and precedent books
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006102
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2015 09:46
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:10
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5324

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