Interns learn the value of soft skills

If a patient suddenly goes into shock, what immediate action should you take? If the family of an incapacitated patient refuses to sign a consent form to allow crucial medical treatment, what’s the best way to move forward? If a patient unexpectedly needs an urgent surgical procedure, what is the most effective way to coordinate with colleagues in other departments?

To prepare doctors-to-be for practical clinical situations and tasks they face when they start their first day as a doctor, the Hospital Authority’s Committee on Internship will arrange for all medical fresh graduates to attend ‘The Intern Central Orientation Programme’ each year in May and June. This one-and-a-half day mandatory training programme takes place at simulation training units in Hong Kong East Cluster, Kowloon Central Cluster and New Territories East Cluster, with the aim to introducing HA’s safety culture in clinical practice. Areas covered range from good drug prescription skills to proper use of HA’s Clinical Management System.

A half-day ‘Boot Camp’ was also launched by the Committee in 2012 for interns during their internship to strengthen their non-technical skills.

Dr Ho Lap-yin, a qualified instructor, explains that the Boot Camp provides scenario-based simulation training, through which participants learn how good teamwork, strong interpersonal skills and effective communication all influence the effectiveness of their clinical practice.

Groups consisting of eight interns work with a doctor and a nurse who serve as trainers. Interns take turns to play the roles of resident, medical officer and houseman in three different scenarios that vary in difficulty. All members of the group will take part in a debriefing session after each scenario.醫院管理局

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