Use of a Structured Observation Tool to Promote Medical Student Engagement in Trauma Resuscitations.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: We describe a novel approach to promoting medical student learning and engagement during trauma resuscitation with implementation of a structured observation and debriefing tool. DESIGN: In the context of a multifaceted quality improvement effort in our emergency room, we implemented a structured trauma observation tool (SOT) for medical students based on ATLS trauma guidelines. The SOT reflects the American College of Surgeons and Association for Surgical Education (ACS/ASE) trauma evaluation module for medical students. Two medical students from our quality improvement working group undertook a proof-of-concept study to determine whether the SOT facilitated accurate observations of trauma resuscitations and promoted educational debriefs with precepting providers. Results were encouraging, so the tool was implemented for elective use on surgical clerkships. Clerkship students who used the SOT were given the opportunity to share its impact on their experience. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained under Pro00109569. SETTING: A large level 1 trauma center at an academic hospital in the southeastern United States. PARTICIPANTS: An interdisciplinary working group including surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, nurses, and students developed the observation tool. Two medical students from this team showed that the tool was effective at guiding observations and facilitating debriefs prior to its broader implementation on the general surgery clerkship. RESULTS: A total of 630 resuscitation tasks were observed during 15 trauma activations prior to implementation on the surgery clerkship. There was over 97% agreement between students observations and evaluating physicians self-reporting on which tasks were completed. Tasks on which there was disagreement were discussed to aid student learning. The tool was implemented for elective use on the surgery clerkship where students reported positive experiences. CONCLUSIONS: Early data suggest that this structured observation tool facilitates accurate trauma assessment observations and provides an opportunity for high-yield debriefs with the evaluating physician. This promotes student comprehension of ATLS principles. The SOT is being implemented as a pedagogic tool for students on the surgery clerkship to guide their observations, improve comprehension of decisions made in a hyperacute setting, and offer real time feedback as part of their learning in the trauma bay. The tool appears to be a valuable supplement which supports the ACS/ASE curriculum.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Thornton, SW; Schaps, D; Leraas, HJ; Gordon, DC; Ginsberg, Z; Vatsaas, CJ; Greenwald, E; Tracy, ET

Published Date

  • 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1422 - 1425

PubMed ID

  • 35753984

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-7452

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.05.017


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States