University of Vermont

Clinical Simulation Laboratory

research and scholarship

Research and Scholarship

ResearchThe CSL is actively involved in research and scholarship to improve health care delivery and clinical education through advances in simulation. Our goals in simulation-based research are to optimize the use of simulation in clinical training and to link educational activities to improvements in patient outcome. Research activities allow investigators to evaluate the impact of clinical innovations, and facilitate the development and implementation of best practices and new technologies in health care.

2011 Frymoyer Scholar Project

An education program to address ineffective physician-nurse communication, a problem that has been linked to medical errors, earned Ted James, M.D., Director of Clinical Simulation and Professor of Surgery, and Celia Cohen, R.N., M.S.N., an educator in Central Nursing and Research Education at The University of Vermont Medical Center, a 2011 Frymoyer Scholarship.

James and Cohen jointly developed a program to help prevent patient safety mishaps by teaching and assessing health communication skills, professionalism, and inter-professional communication required to optimize patient care through a series of simulated clinical management scenarios. Their educational intervention relies on “mock pages” – alerts sent to students’ pagers – at the start of each clinical scenario chosen from standardized and peer-reviewed clinical cases. Students have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback from faculty on their clinical assessment and communication skills during these scenarios. In addition, debriefing sessions that reinforce communication teaching points take place following each session. The program includes four sessions:

  • Session I: Third-year medical students rotating through the surgery clerkship work with a trained nurse educator and James
  • Session II: Senior nursing students and LNA summer externs work with Cohen and a trained UVM College of Medicine faculty member serving as the covering physician;
  • Session III: Senior nursing students and novice nurses work with fourth-year surgery senior major medical students and James;
  • Session IV: Trained nurse educators work with fourth-year medical students in the surgery senior major program during the mandatory surgery residency readiness program. In addition to the mock page scenario, this session includes a bedside patient management component.

Clinical Simulation Pilot Study

Results from a pilot study designed to investigate how variations in provider-patient interactions affect the performance of technical and non-technical skills will be presented in September at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the New England Surgical Society. Influence of Patient Demeanor on Clinical Performance and Medical Education: Results From a Clinical Simulation Pilot Study prepared by Drs. Andrew Eyre, Ted James and Cate Nicholas showed that when treating standardized patients portraying frustration, even in a simulated environment, students are less likely to complete important aspects of the history and physical exam. Additionally, students working with 'frustrated' patients reported feeling more nervous and are less likely to achieve educational value from clinical interactions. Learn more.

Last modified November 24 2014 10:48 AM