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Instructional Material

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Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are increasingly prevalent in US hospitals. The pediatric hospitalist is often the primary provider of inpatient care for these patients. However, exposure to this patient population during training varies from provider to provider. No published educational curricula are specific to the inpatient care of this population. The purpose of this project is to build a multi-modal educational curriculum for providers with the overall goal of improving inpatient care for this at-risk population.

This curriculum is primarily composed of a series of topic-specific learning modules. Asynchronous learning modules, utilized appropriately, can augment learning by providing individualized instruction and mastery of fundamentals. This particular resource was created to provide health care professionals with educational materials related to care of the medically complex child with Autonomic Dysreflexia, which is a clinical phenomenon with life threatening potential that affects patients with spinal cord injuries above the T-6 Level. The incidence of AD is reported in the literature to affect approximately 16% of children and adolescents with spinal cord injuries.

This curriculum, including this specific learning activity, was first launched at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, DC in February 2012. The pediatric hospitalist attendings and fellows at CNMC have clinical responsibilities at a subacute rehabilitation hospital, as well as on an inpatient consultative service for medically complex children. In an effort to provide an educational resource to them to augment their patient care, the authors conducted a needs assessment of the division and conceived the idea for this curriculum based on the feedback they received.

Preliminary data from 8 participants of this particular module shows the following results (100% of participants agreed or strongly agreed to the following statements after viewing the self-learning module):

  • This learning activity met the stated learning objectives.
  • Material presented in this learning activity was engaging and interesting.
  • Material presented in this learning activity was relevant to my clinical practice.
  • Material presented in this learning activity increased my comfort with teaching about this topic.
  • Format of this learning activity was appropriate for my learning needs.

The mean score on the pre-test was 45% and increased to 86% on the post test (p=0.072).

Comments about what participants liked most about this learning module included: “concise”; “straight forward explanations”; “breakdown of the physiology”; “description of pathophysiology and why autonomic dysreflexia occurs.”

Based on this study, this module along with others in the curriculum continues to be offered to trainees and new faculty to augment their knowledge and skills in this area.

AAMC MedEdPORTAL publication ID 9999. Link to original.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.



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