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Handoffs and Nurse Calls: Overnight Call Simulation for Fourth-Year Medical Students.

  • Chen, Tina1
  • Stapleton, Stephanie2
  • Babcock, Matthew3
  • Kelley, Mariann Nocera4
  • Frallicciardi, Alise5
  • 1 Assistant Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
  • 2 Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.
  • 3 Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
  • 4 Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine/Traumatology, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Connecticut Children's Medical Center; Director of Simulation Education, University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
  • 5 Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Emergency Department Medical Director, University of Connecticut John Dempsey Hospital.
Published Article
MedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
DOI: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11138
PMID: 33816798


Interns must be able to give and receive handoffs and use handoff information to respond to calls from nursing staff regarding patient concerns. Medical students may not receive adequate instruction in these tasks and often feel unprepared in this aspect of transitioning to residency. This program simulated an overnight call experience for fourth-year medical students emphasizing handoffs, nurse calls, and medical emergency response. The program utilized a combination of traditional didactics and simulated handoffs, nurse calls, and patient scenarios to allow groups of fourth-year medical students to independently manage a simulated overnight call. The program was designed for students as part of a larger Transition to Residency capstone course. We ran four sessions over 3 years, with a total of 105 medical student participants. All students reported increased confidence or comfort in their ability to manage handoffs and respond to nurse calls. Students reported that the sessions were helpful and realistic. This program provided fourth-year medical students with a realistic and useful opportunity to simulate handoffs and response to nurse calls, which increased their confidence and comfort. Minor changes were made between iterations of the course with continued positive feedback from medical students. The course is generalizable and can be adapted to the needs and resources of different institutions. © 2021 Chen et al.

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