Improving Clinical Handovers: A Pilot Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Teaching Scheme in a District General Hospital​


Introduction: Clinical handover is the transfer of professional responsibility from one person to another. The World Health Organisation in 2007 highlighted the dangers of poor communication in handovers in the clinical safety and continuity of care of patients around the world. Many of these handovers occur between doctors and nurses who receive little formal training of this during their undergraduate degrees, with few derived from education theory and almost none delivered via interdisciplinary means. We have thus developed and assessed a pilot interdisciplinary teaching scheme to address this deficit. Method: We developed a case-based interactive teaching session based on Kolb’s Learning cycle and a constructivist paradigm, using simulation practices to develop the students clinical skills. This was completed by medical and nursing students in the same sessions, and pre- and post-questionnaires assessed their confidence and ability to formulate coherent handovers on a 10-point scale. Results: 10 Nursing students and 8 Medical Students partook in these pilot sessions. The vast majority of students showed improvement in understanding the role of the other specialty (Δ=5.2) and confidence in knowing what information to best provide (Δ=3.8). There was also a general drop in the perceived barriers to doing a handover (Δ=-3.5) and all students would recommend the session to peers (n=18). Conclusion: When implementing a pilot teaching scheme of interdisciplinary teaching sessions based in education theory, student doctors and nurses gain confidence in being able to escalate and handover appropriately between discipline.

Author Information
Michael Ha, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2020
Stream: Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary & Transdisciplinary Education

This paper is part of the ECE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Ha M. (2020) Improving Clinical Handovers: A Pilot Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Teaching Scheme in a District General Hospital​ ISSN: 2188-1162 The European Conference on Education 2020: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon