Junior doctors’ preparedness to prescribe, monitor and treat patients with the antibiotic vancomycin in an Australian teaching hospital.

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    PURPOSE: We aimed to assess the preparedness of junior doctors to use vancomycin, and to determine whether attending an educational session and being provided pocket guidelines were associated with self-reported confidence and objective knowledge.

    METHODS: This was a 2-component cross-sectional study. A 60-minute educational session was implemented and pocket guidelines were provided. Preparedness was evaluated by a self-reported confidence survey in the early and late stages of each training year, and by continuing medical education (CME) knowledge scores.

    RESULTS: Self-confidence was higher among those later in the training year (n=75) than in those earlier (n=120) in the year for all questions. In the late group, vancomycin education was associated with higher self-confidence regarding the frequency of therapeutic drug monitoring (P=0.02) and dose amendment (P=0.05); however, the confidence for initial monitoring was lower (P<0.05). Those with pocket guidelines were more confident treating patients with vancomycin (P<0.001), choosing initial (P=0.01) and maintenance doses (P<0.001), and knowing the monitoring frequency (P=0.03). The 85 respondents who completed the knowledge assessment scored a mean±standard deviation of 8.55±1.55 on 10 questions, and the interventions had no significant effect.

    CONCLUSION: Attending an educational session and possessing pocket guidelines were associated with preparedness, as measured by higher self-reported confidence using vancomycin. High knowledge scores were attained following CME; however attending an educational session or possessing pocket guidelines did not significantly increase the knowledge scores. Our findings support providing educational sessions and pocket guidelines to increase self-confidence in prescribing vancomycin, yet also highlight the importance of evaluating content, format, and delivery when seeking to improve preparedness to use vancomycin through education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professionals
    Issue number13
    Early online date2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Continuing medical education
    • Drug monitoring
    • Prescriptions
    • Self report
    • Vancomycin


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