Simulation-based interpersonal communication skills training for neurosurgical residents

Sagi Harnof, Moshe Hadani, Amitai Ziv, Haim Berkenstadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Communication skills are an important component of the neurosurgery residency training program. We developed a simulation-based training module for neurosurgery residents in which medical, communication and ethical dilemmas are presented by role-playing actors. Objectives: To assess the first national simulation-based communication skills training for neurosurgical residents. Methods: Eight scenarios covering different aspects of neurosurgery were developed by our team: 1) obtaining informed consent for an elective surgery, 2) discharge of a patient following elective surgery, 3) dealing with an unsatisfied patient, 4) delivering news of intraoperative complications, 5) delivering news of a brain tumor to parents of a 5 year old boy, 6) delivering news of brain death to a family member, 7) obtaining informed consent for urgent surgery from the grandfather of a 7 year old boy with an epidural hematoma, and 8) dealing with a case of child abuse. Fifteen neurosurgery residents from all major medical centers in Israel participated in the training. The session was recorded on video and was followed by videotaped debriefing by a senior neurosurgeon and communication expert and by feedback questionnaires. Results: All trainees participated in two scenarios and observed another two. Participants largely agreed that the actors simulating patients represented real patients and family members and that the videotaped debriefing contributed to the teaching of professional skills. Conclusions: Simulation-based communication skill training is effective, and together with thorough debriefing is an excellent learning and practical method for imparting communication skills to neurosurgery residents. Such simulation-based training will ultimately be part of the national residency program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-560
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume15
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Education
  • Neurosurgery
  • Simulation

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