An emergency care research course for healthcare career preparation

Miller, Karen F.; Das, Rishub K.; Majors, Ciera D.; Paz, Hadassah H.; Robinson, Ayana N.; Hamilton, Veronica F.; Jackson, Brittney E.; Collins, Sean P.; Storrow, Alan B.

University students have limited opportunities to gain healthcare clinical exposure within an academic curriculum. Furthermore, traditional pre-medical clinical experiences like shadowing lack active learning components. This may make it difficult for students to make an informed decision about pursuing biomedical professions. An academic university level research course with bedside experience provides students direct clinical participation in the healthcare setting.

Described is a research immersion course for senior university students (3rd to 5th year) interested in healthcare and reported study enrollment with final course evaluations. The setting was an adult, academic, urban, level 1 trauma center emergency department (ED) within a tertiary-care, 1000-bed, medical center. Our course, “Immersion in Emergency Care Research”, was offered as a university senior level class delivered consecutively over 16-weeks for students interested in healthcare careers. Faculty and staff from the Department of Emergency Medicine provided a classroom lecture program and extensive bedside, hands-on clinical research experience. Students enrolled patients in a survey study requiring informed consent, interviews, data abstraction and data entry. Additionally, they were required to write and present a mock emergency care research proposal inspired by their clinical experience. The course evaluations from students’ ordinal rankings and blinded text responses report possible career impact.

Thirty-two students, completed the 16-week, 6–9 h per week, course from August to December in 1 of 4 years (2016 to 2019). Collectively, students enrolled 759 ED patients in the 4 survey studies and reported increased confidence in the clinical research process as each week progressed. Ranked evaluations were extremely positive, with many students describing how the course significantly impacted their career pathways and addressed an unmet need in biomedical education. Six students continued the research experience from the course through independent study using the survey data to develop 3 manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

A bedside emergency care research course for students with pre-healthcare career aspirations can successfully provide early exposure to patients and emergency care, allow direct experience with clinical bedside research, research data collection, and may impact biomedical science career choices.

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BMC Medical Education

More About This Work

Published Here
September 22, 2023


Pre-medical, Undergraduate, Education, Shadowing, Immersion, Clinical, Research, Mentorship