Intern Troubleshooting

Providing realistic situations to encounter gives learning impact.  Here's what I posed for medical student interns learning to place insert intravenous lines into patients.

 One of the scenarios posed as learners began to troubleshoot possible mistakes.

One of the scenarios posed as learners began to troubleshoot possible mistakes.

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How can beginning Medical School Interns quickly assess when an insertion is in trouble?  This is one of the first procedures they learn as interns and also one that can go extremely wrong. If Interns could recognize signs of trouble, stop to assess and correct the mistake, the amount of catastrophic incidents would be lessened.  

Online was the best way to reach busy interns, so we designed a scenario based short online course. Videoing Dr. James Duncan, who modeled the procedure as he explained what to notice, what to do and how to respond allowed learners to witness the process.  Dr. Duncan taught learners recognize if they were “off” or “on” the path.  The key was learning how to assess and then “recover”.   Using specific issues former interns had faced allowed me to recreate realistic experiences for the scenarios.  Allowing learners to practice, see the consequences of their decisions and continue in the process without causing the patient harm was important.