Competence Assessment of Transfer of Simulation Training to the Patient

Flavin, Triona, Patterson, Aileen and Hennessy, Martina (2014) Competence Assessment of Transfer of Simulation Training to the Patient. In: Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), Excellence in Education - the 21st Century Teacher, 30 August - 3 September 2014, Milan, Italy.


Background : This study was undertaken to assess transfer of simulation venepuncture procedures to patients. Its aim was to assess how many times it took a student to be deemed competent in performing the clinical skill of venepuncture on patients and to assess student’s confidence on their performance. Summary of Work: The study was carried out on n=54 third-year undergraduate medical students attending an Irish University performing 218 venepuncture procedures. Students who had never previously taken bloods from patients were assessed on the performance of venepuncture procedures by a phlebotomist on a ward. Each student completed a confidence and competence self-assessment scale for each procedure performed. Comparisons were made between these levels as were comparisons between the assessed competence of the students and the phlebotomist. Summary of Results: A significant non-parametric correlation (Spearman’s rho coefficient) of 0.83 was found after the fourth procedure. The phlebotomist competence ratings matched the students’ self-rated competence with a median of 3.5 after four procedures. 50% of students also felt confident to perform without supervision and zero students reporting they felt not confident after performing four procedures. Discussion and Conclusions: The expert phlebotomist concurred with students’ self-reported assessment that they were competent without supervision after performing 4 venepunctures. These findings provide useful information for students and supervisors in developing the key skill of venepuncture. Take-home messages: After as little as 4 procedures students can be competent. This has not been quantified previously.

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