Short Title:BMC Medical Education
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):16, 16, 161,
Study evaluated the effects of an enhanced simulation exercise known as RADAR (Recognizing Acute Deterioration: Active Response), on medical students’ confidence in recognizing and responding to the deteriorating patient. A questionnaire survey was conducted; the instrument contained three sections. Section 1 focused on students’ perceptions of the learning experience; section 2 investigated confidence. Both sections employed Likert-type scales. A third section invited open responses. Questionnaires were distributed to 158 third-year medical students in the North East of Scotland; 130 (82 percent) were returned for analysis. Students’ responses pointed to many benefits of the sessions. In the first section, students responded positively to the educational underpinning of the sessions, with all scores above 4.00 on a 5-point scale. There were clear learning outcomes; the sessions were active and engaging for students with an appropriate level of challenge and stress; they helped to integrate theory and practice; and effective feedback on their performance allowed students to reflect and learn from the experience. In section 2, the key finding was that scores for students’ confidence to recognize deterioration increased significantly as a result of the sessions. Effect sizes were high (0.68–0.75). In the open-ended questions, students pointed to many benefits of the RADAR course, including the opportunity to employ learned procedures in realistic scenarios. The authors recommend the use of RADAR as a safe and cost-effective approach in the area of clinical deterioration and suggest that there is a need to investigate its use with different patient groups.