Med Students Not Trained to Recognize, Report Critical Medical Errors
The lack of a formal patient safety curriculum that promotes learning regarding adverse events and critical medical errors has left many medical students without the capability to recognize or speak up when they see or experience a critical medical error or any adverse clinical incidents that deviate from best practices. Few U.S medical training schools report covering patient safety and quality or running exit assessments on the same. Students who are overburdened with scientific facts and the rigid traditional-based courses overlook the importance of training to handle adverse incidents.
Lack of Formal Training Compromises Patient Safety
One study shows that 76 percent of med students reported observing adverse effects but only 50 percent were comfortable in reporting the events to their superior. In fact, very few trainees demonstrate awareness of human factor errors or the hospital’s approach to safety. This has led to countless mistakes, complications, and deaths each year. Consequently, sometimes a simple injury that would have been treated with so much ease can turn into something more severe, debilitating, or even result in wrongful death. Medical errors are a major cause of preventable incapacitation and deaths.
Studies also show that exposing med students to errors and adverse events without training them how to handle incidents can have a negative effect on their competencies and attitudes. Due to the guilt and shame associated with making critical medical errors, students often keep quiet if something goes wrong. Also, they are concerned with their evaluations and this results in a decrease in willingness to adopt safety practices and error reporting.
Educators do not candidly discuss relevant situations with learners or give them the opportunity to know that what is expected of them is this openness. Analysts highlight that there’s need for educators to create a non-punitive culture and entrench students in believing that recognizing and reporting errors is so critical such that it becomes a part of them by the time they graduate. Error is usually multifactorial but prior training and knowledge in this specific aspect are critical in the move to protect patients from medical errors.