Background: Classroom teaching of communication and clinical skills in the pre-clinical years does not reflect authentic practice in the clinical workplace. This paper describes an innovative hybrid simulation teaching session on male urinary catheterisation to large cohorts of undergraduate medical students, which aims to achieve a holistic approach to integrated skills acquisition. Evaluation of the session is described.
Method: Undergraduate students (n=1221) took part in a 1-hour workshop, delivered over four years to consecutive cohorts. Evaluation forms (n=1042) captured students’ rating of the session and impact on their levels of confidence. Free text comments were explored using content analysis.
Results: The majority (91%) of students evaluated the sessions as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with students who performed the procedure rating the session significantly higher. They did not feel more confident about their skills than students who merely observed. Free text comments illustrate perceived benefits of practising integration of clinical and communication skills.
Discussion: Teaching male catheterisation using hybrid simulation is effective, feasible and sustainable over time for large cohorts of undergraduate medical students. Students recognise benefits of learning communication and procedural skills in an integrated manner, and report increased levels of confidence in their ability to catheterise, provide explanations and build rapport with the patient.