Real-life situations for practising clinical skills - "Bridge the Gap" was a success

14 November 2023

The Department of Languages for Biomedical Purposes and Communication, with the support of the Dean's Office and the Demonstrator Student Circle, organized its "Bridge the Gap" workshop in English on 4 November at the Skills Development and Innovation Centre of the Medical School in Pécs, with the aim of providing fifth and sixth year students with another opportunity to practice the basic skills needed for the everyday medical profession in real-life situations.

"Our mission is to bridge the gap between knowledge and action, and to bring a mindset of excellence to everything we do," is the motto of the team that organised the workshop, which launched Bridge the Gap in 2021. The idea was inspired by Dr. Tolu Oladele, then a 5th year student and now a physician, who initiated the programme as a gap-filling opportunity for students to refresh their practical clinical skills after a period of online learning. The overwhelmingly positive feedback and further encouragement from senior medical students has provided the basis for a continuation.

On the student side, this year, the 6th-year demonstrator student Beck Brandon took on the organisation of the programme, which was built on the original foundations but also included some new features: fifth and sixth year medical students from the Hungarian, English and German programmes were able to practice clinical scenarios together in a safe and supportive learning environment, under the supervision of experienced clinicians, communication specialists and demonstrator students.

The workshop lasted two two-hour sessions, during which time students rotated through 8 different stations. Two stations focused on communicating bad news and informing patients about invasive procedures. Each station lasted 15 minutes, of these 10 minutes were allocated to complete the task and after that 5 minutes were specifically devoted to debriefing the situation, receiving feedback from not only the communication specialist on station but also the simulated patients.

At the two internal medicine stations, the students' task was a targeted examination of the chest and abdomen. The 15 minutes were allocated to perform the task and then also to evaluate the situation, while discussing important topics such as the differential diagnosis of abdominal pain or the management of chest pain.

The two neurology stations focused on the examination of stroke patients and discussions on the causes and treatment of epilepsy.

The last two stations focused on assessing basic life-saving skills and providing an opportunity to learn how to safely use and manage advanced life-saving equipment.

The positive feedback has encouraged Bridge the Gap to continue in the coming semesters. It is planned to hold not only broader workshops covering many topics in the future, but also more focused and specialised ones, in the fields of paediatrics and neurology, following requests from students.

For the realisation of Bridge the Gap, thanks are due to the main organiser, Katalin Eklicsné Dr. Lepenye (Department of Languages for Biomedical Purposes and Communication), the University management, Dr. Andrea Tamás (Chair of the Demonstration Circle), the Simulation Patient Programme, Dr. Szilárd Rendeki, MediSkillsLab, Dr. Kristóf Filipánits, Dr. Zsófia Karádi, Anikó Berta, Brandon, Beck  the main student organizer, and the collaborating demonstrator students who contributed to the success of the programme through their active participation and support.


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