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Am J Surg. 2017 Nov 10. pii: S0002-9610(17)30632-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2017.09.038. [Epub ahead of print]

Pre-simulation orientation for medical trainees: An approach to decrease anxiety and improve confidence and performance.

Author information

1
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, United States.
2
University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery, Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, United States.
3
University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery, Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, United States. Electronic address: liepert@surgery.wisc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We assessed the effect of basic orientation to the simulation environment on anxiety, confidence, and clinical decision making.

METHODS:

Twenty-four graduating medical students participated in a two-week surgery preparatory curriculum, including three simulations. Baseline anxiety was assessed pre-course. Scenarios were completed on day 2 and day 9. Prior to the first simulation, participants were randomly divided into two groups. Only one group received a pre-simulation orientation. Before the second simulation, all students received the same orientation. Learner anxiety was reported immediately preceding and following each simulation. Confidence was assessed post-simulation. Performance was evaluated by surgical faculty.

RESULTS:

The oriented group experienced decreased anxiety following the first simulation (p = 0.003); the control group did not. Compared to the control group, the oriented group reported less anxiety and greater confidence and received higher performance scores following all three simulations (all p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Pre-simulation orientation reduces anxiety while increasing confidence and improving performance.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Medical education; Simulation; Surgery

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