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Vietz, Elisa; März, Esther; Lottspeich, Christian; Wölfel, Teresa; Fischer, Martin R. and Schmidmaier, Ralf (2019): Ward round competences in surgery and psychiatry - a comparative multidisciplinary interview study. In: BMC Medical Education 19:137 [PDF, 755kB]


Background The ward round is a key element in everyday hospital inpatient care irrespective of the medical speciality. The underperformance in conducting ward rounds of junior clinicians has already been described. Therefore, necessary skills and competences of clinicians need to be defined, taught and delivered for curricular instruction. In addition to published data on ward round competences in internal medicine this study aims to determine the common competences for surgical and psychiatric ward rounds in order to find differences depending on the speciality. Methods Semi-structured interviews with surgical (N = 30) and psychiatric ward staff (N = 30) of a university hospital and five community hospitals were conducted. Competences necessary for performing ward rounds as well as structural aspects were identified by systematic content analysis and frequency analysis, supported by adequate statistics. Results Relevant competences for both fields are: collaborative clinical reasoning, communication with the patient and the team, organization, teamwork, management of difficult situations, self-management, error-management, teaching, empathy, nonverbal communication, patient-management and professionalism. Clinical skills were mentioned more often in surgical interviews, while nonverbal communication was described more often in psychiatric interviews. Empathy and communication with the team were more frequently attributed to psychiatric residents. Conclusion The competences which were identified as necessary for conducting a ward round in surgery and psychiatry are similar and correspond to previously reported competences in internal medicine. Clinical skills are of greater importance in surgery than in psychiatry. Concerning empathy and nonverbal communication, further research is needed to determine whether they are of minor importance in surgery or whether there is a lack of awareness of these competences.

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