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
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professionals
    Issue number13
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017

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