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Emergency physicians who work in academic settings enjoy an expanding number of roles beyond that of the skilled clinician. Faculty development (FD) encompasses the broad range of activities that institutions use to renew skill-sets and assist faculty members in these multiple roles. This study seeks to define the current FD needs and interests of Canadian academic emergency physicians (AEPs).
An online survey was administered to 943 AEPs in eight centers across Canada to determine their current FD activities, provide a detailed understanding of their FD needs and interests, elucidate the perceived barriers to and motivation for engaging in FD, and identify preferred methods of delivery for FD activities.
This national, cross-sectional survey was completed by 336 respondents. It shows that need for FD is universally high, particularly in traditional domains of scholarship, leadership and education (79%, 80%, 87% overall interest, respectively). However, the study also suggests that there is increasing need for FD in areas where current participation is lowest, namely research and social accountability (12% and 13% more interest, respectively). Senior and junior faculty evince equivalent overall FD interest (p>0.05), whereas female AEPs expressed greater overall FD needs in leadership (1.82 vs 1.44 activities, p=0.003) than males. Continued participation in FD activities is best promoted by offering relevant topics, at convenient times and locations.
This study reports the first comprehensive national FD needs assessment of Canadian academic emergency physicians.
We sought to compare two ultrasound simulation interventions used during critical care simulation. The primary outcome was trainee and instructor preference for either intervention. Secondary outcomes included the identification of strengths and weaknesses of each intervention as well as overall merits of ultrasound simulation during high-fidelity, critical care simulation. The populations of interest included emergency medicine trainees and physicians.
This was a randomized crossover study with two ultrasound simulation interventions. 25 trainees and eight emergency physician instructors participated in critical-care simulation sessions. Instructors were involved in session debriefing and feedback. Pre- and post-intervention responses were analyzed for statistically significant differences using t test analyses. Qualitative data underwent thematic analysis and triangulation.
Both trainees and instructors deemed ultrasound simulation valuable by allowing trainees to demonstrate knowledge of indications, correct image interpretation, and clinical integration (p<0.05). Trainees described increased motivation to develop and use ultrasound skills. The edus2 was the preferred intervention, as it enabled functional fidelity and the integration of ultrasound into resuscitation choreography. Instructors preferred the edus2, as it facilitated better assessment of trainees’ skills, thus influencing feedback.
These findings support the use of ultrasound simulation during critical care simulations. The increased functional fidelity associated with edus2 suggests that it is the preferred intervention. Further study of the impact on clinical performance is warranted.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of physician-nurse supplementary triage assistance team (MDRNSTAT) from a hospital and patient perspective.
This was a cost-effectiveness evaluation of a cluster randomized control trial comparing the MDRNSTAT with nurse-only triage in the emergency department (ED) between the hours of 0800 and 1500. Cost was MDRNSTAT salary. Revenue was from Ontario’s Pay-for-Results and patient volume-case mix payment programs. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was based on MDRNSTAT cost and three consequence assessments: 1) per additional patient-seen; 2) per physician initial assessment (PIA) hour saved; and 3) per ED length of stay (EDLOS) hour saved. Patient opportunity cost was determined. Patient satisfaction was quantified by a cost-benefit ratio. A sensitivity analysis extrapolating MDRNSTAT to different working hours, salary, and willingness-to-pay data was performed.
The added cost of the MDRNSTAT was $3,597.27 [$1,729.47 to ∞] per additional patient-seen, $75.37 [$67.99 to $105.30] per PIA hour saved, and $112.99 [$74.68 to $251.43] per EDLOS hour saved. From the hospital perspective, the cost-benefit ratio was 38.6 [19.0 to ∞] and net present value of –$447,996 [–$435,646 to –$459,900]. For patients, the cost-benefit ratio for satisfaction was 2.8 [2.3 to 4.6]. If MDRNSTAT performance were consistently implemented from noon to midnight, it would be more cost-effective.
The MDRNSTAT is not a cost-effective daytime strategy but appears to be more feasible during time periods with higher patient volume, such as late morning to evening.
Emergency medical service (EMS) providers are exposed to a variety of stressors endemic to the profession. These exposures may contribute to stress reactions, including posttraumatic stress. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between work-related stressors and posttraumatic stress. The secondary objective was to determine paramedics’ preferred sources of support for managing work-related stress.
269 paramedics in a county-based EMS service were invited to complete an online survey. Respondents reported their demographic characteristics, levels of chronic stress, critical incident stress, posttraumatic stress symptomatology (PTSS), and preferred sources of support for managing work-related stress.
A total of 145 paramedics completed the survey. PTSS was significantly correlated with operational stress (p<0.001), organizational stress (p<0.001), and critical incident stress (p<0.001). Regression models revealed that chronic operational stress was a significant independent predictor of PTSS (p<0.001) and in combination with critical incident stress (p<0.01). Paramedics reported a higher preference for receiving support from a work partner, friend, or family member than from other sources (p<0.001).
Both chronic and critical incident stressors appear to be significant predictors of PTSS. Our findings suggests that holistic health and wellness initiatives that address the impact of both critical incident stress and the chronic stressors associated with day-to-day operations may help mitigate PTSS. Our findings also provide preliminary evidence that interventions may benefit from a focus on peer support and on friends and family members who can support the affected paramedic.
Two major processes underlie human decision-making: experiential (intuitive) and rational (conscious) thinking. The predominant thinking process used by working paramedics and student paramedics to make clinical decisions is unknown.
A survey was administered to ground ambulance paramedics and to primary care paramedic students. The survey included demographic questions and the Rational Experiential Inventory-40, a validated psychometric tool involving 40 questions. Twenty questions evaluated each thinking style: 10 assessed preference and 10 assessed ability to use that style. Responses were provided on a five-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating higher affinity for the style in question. Analysis included both descriptive statistics and t tests to evaluate differences in thinking style.
The response rate was 88.4% (1172/1326). Paramedics (n=904) had a median age of 36 years (IQR 29–42) and most were male (69.5%) and primary or advanced care paramedics (PCP=55.5%; ACP=32.5%). Paramedic students (n=268) had a median age of 23 years (IQR 21–26), most were male (63.1%) and had completed high school (31.7%) or an undergraduate degree (25.4%) prior to paramedic training. Both groups scored their ability to use and favourability toward rational thinking significantly higher than experiential thinking. The mean score for rational thinking was 3.86/5 among paramedics and 3.97/5 among paramedic students (p<0.001). The mean score for experiential thinking was 3.41/5 among paramedics and 3.35/5 among paramedic students (p=0.06).
Working paramedics and student paramedics prefer and perceive that they have the ability to use rational over experiential thinking. This information adds to our current knowledge on paramedic decision-making and is potentially important for developing continuing education and clinical support tools.