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Clinical training in medical students during preclinical years in the skill lab

Authors Upadhayay N

Received 16 December 2016

Accepted for publication 7 February 2017

Published 2 March 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 189—194


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Namrata Upadhayay

Department of Physiology, Gandaki Medical College Teaching Hospital and Research Center, Kaski, Nepal

Background: In Nepal, medical education is a high-stakes and stressful course. To enhance learning and minimize students’ stress, the conventional method has been replaced by integrated, student-centered learning. As an approach to train effectively, colleges have started establishing skill labs.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of clinical skill training on exam performance as compared with the conventional teaching practice. Further, to assess the perceptions of students of the importance of skill lab training in college.
Method: Twenty students were randomly selected to participate in this cross-sectional study. On the internal examination, students showed skills on manikins, and examiners evaluated them. A sample question in the exam was “To perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on half body human manikin.” On completion of the exam, opinions were collected from the students via a predesigned self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions regarding skill lab use and its benefits to them in developing their skills, with a few questions related to the exam pattern. The responses were expressed in frequencies.
Results: We found that all (20/20) students performed CPR with confidence and without hesitation on the manikin. The practical examination performance (marks) was categorized as excellent (7/20), good (8/20), average (3/20), and poor (2/20). The pass percentage after skill training was increased by 25% as compared with conventional teaching practice. The majority of the students (17/20) mentioned that skill is better learned by doing than by observing others’ performance or watching videos. A few students (6/20) said skills are better learned by observing the real disease state. They mentioned that skill lab is the better choice for learning major skills such as catheterization, opening vein, auscultation of heart sounds, and endotracheal intubation.
Conclusion: Students are confident and showed better exam performance after basic clinical skills training in the lab. They perceived skill lab training as a better teaching method for the preclinical students.

Keywords: skill lab, preclinical years, practical examination, innovative learning

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