Learning Objectives: To describe a novel simulation training developed to teach Trauma-Informed Care principles and applications for patient care in Emergency Medicine. To present results from pre- and post-surveys about effectiveness of simulations to learn and apply Trauma-Informed Care in acute-care settings.
Introduction/Background: Emergency Medicine physicians often care for patients experiencing direct sequelae from traumatic events including abuse, discrimination, and violence. Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is a framework that recognizes the prevalence of trauma, promotes patient empowerment, and aims to minimize retraumatization. Limited curriculum on TIC in acute-care settings exists despite its widespread utility, with medical simulations (SIM) presenting a novel educational opportunity for this aim.
Educational Objectives: Describe principles of TIC and its importance in clinical practice. Present strategies for performing TIC-guided history taking and physical exams. Discuss situations when trauma screenings are indicated for patient safety and care. Facilitate the practice of TIC in acute-care settings.
Curricular Design: An SIM workshop reproducing relevant clinical encounters was developed for medical students to practice implementing TIC in the Emergency Department (ED). Students attended a didactic on TIC fundamentals and its applications in clinical care. Small groups then interacted with three SIM cases caring for patients with urgent medical needs and pertinent history related to intimate partner violence, transgender health, and discrimination in the healthcare system.
Impact/Effectiveness: Application of TIC principles is essential to providing patient-centered care in the ED. A pilot group of 12 students participated in these SIM sessions. The workshop was well-received, as 100% of participants found simulation training “Very” or “Extremely Useful” in preparing to apply TIC in patient interactions, compared to 42% prior to the session (p<0.05). Students also developed relevant skills, as 42% of students felt “Very” or “Extremely Confident” in using appropriate TIC language during physical exams, compared to 0% initially (p<0.05). Overall, this novel intervention represents a feasible and effective session for teaching TIC skills in Emergency Medicine.