This week, medical students in their third year (M3s) at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP) are stepping into the clinical environment for the first time. They spent last week getting ready for the transition during orientation at Jump.
About 60 M3s cycled through a dozen simulations. This gave them the opportunity to practice everything they’ll encounter during their clinical rotations. It also allows faculty, educators, nurses and standardized participants the ability to observe and provide feedback on their readiness for rotations.
A majority of the simulation space was used during orientation week. About 30 faculty members from UICOMP were facilitators, and more than a dozen nursing instructors and 15 standardized participants were involved in the simulations.
M3s And A Dozen Simulations
The M3s got to experience a little bit of everything they might come across when they begin their clinical training. The scenarios included rounding on patients in three environments – inpatient adult medicine, pediatric patient-centered care and ambulatory clinic. The students also worked through the virtual OR- maintaining a sterile field, and later worked as teams to run code blues, intubating patients and placing EKG leads.
Some simulations helped the medical students fine-tune their interactions with patients. Other scenarios were specifically tailored to help students overcome practices many M3s find stressful, such as presenting patients to their superiors. They were required to do two to three-minute presentations to real attending physicians. It’s an important learning experience.
“It’s something we haven’t had a lot of practice doing,” said Olivia White, an M3 student at UICOMP. “It can be nerve-racking, but being able to practice it in simulation has removed some of the stigma.”
The medical students were also able to participate in simulations that encourage teamwork with all types of clinicians. Students in their fourth year of medical school also helped coach and mentor M3s through the process.
“It’s been a great introduction overall, so we don’t have to be thrown into the clinical environment blind. We are going to use a lot of these skills we’ve learned and see many of them in practice,” said White.
Future of Medical Education
Medical schools all over the nation are working to introduce students into the clinical environment earlier. It’s a focus for curricular transformation at all of our University of Illinois Chicago sites. Jump has been instrumental in allowing UICOMP to be a leader with innovative curriculum.