Using Online Chat to Assess FNP Students' Readiness for Call
Effectively handling phone calls about patients during, or after clinic hours is an important skill for healthcare professionals. Little to no formal training is typically provided by educational institutions, or on-the job. A "pediatric on-call" experience was developed and utilized with senior level students in a family nurse practitioner program offered at a Master's level.
The objective of the study was to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of an on-call pediatric clinical experience.
Students scheduled a thirty-minute block of time to be available on the learning platform, Moodle. A week prior to the experience, students were given a list of common pediatric concerns for which "parents" might call the office or call service. Students logged onto the learning platform at the assigned time, and entered a virtual chat room. The session began with the “parent” (instructor) telling the “provider” (student) about their child’s problem. The “provider” then asked the “parent” questions to elicit information about the concern, and to formulate a plan of care. After completion of the activity, students were sent the printed transcript. Students were asked to reflect on the experience and detailed feedback was provided.
Overall, students (N=22) and faculty (N=1) found the exercise to be beneficial. Several areas were identified as problematic for students, including timely and accurate pediatric dose calculation. Identified barriers included technology issues and quantity of faculty time needed to complete the exercise.
The developed on-call experience was beneficial to prepare FNP students for future role expectations.