Title

Assessment of competency in electrocardiogram interpretation of graduating physician assistant students

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Journal

Journal of Physician Assistant Education

Volume

24

Issue

4

DOI

10.1097/01367895-201324040-00003

Abstract

Purpose: This study assessed the competency in electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation of the 2011 physician assistant (PA) class at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Methods: A survey and 22-item ECG examination were completed by 51 students prior to graduation. Six strips were critical ECGs. Results: The students scored 50.7% on the 22 ECGs and 68.0% on the six critical ECGs. Students who were more confident regarding their ability to accurately interpret ECGs and those who took a cardiology elective performed statistically significantly better on the 22 ECG examination (P =.005 and P =.032 respectively) but not on the six critical ECGs (P =.130 and P =.132 respectively). There were no significant associations between scores on either the 22 ECGs or six critical ECGs and students' perceived sufficiency of ECG training and desire for more ECG training. Conclusion: The students' overall scores indicate the need for improved training in ECG interpretation skills.

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