Increasing Physician Assistant Students' Team Communication Skills and Confidence Throughout Clinical Training.

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PURPOSE:An intervention was designed to increase physician assistant students' team communication skills using the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation (SBAR) tool. METHODS:A variety of learning activities were implemented longitudinally over 9 months of clinical education. Instructional activities included an interactive lecture, deliberate practice of SBAR at clinical training sites, self-assessment, and small group discussion. Evaluation involved survey of students' perceived learning outcomes and direct observation of students' proficiency using SBAR during a simulated patient encounter. RESULTS:At the beginning of their clinical training, many students (75%) did not have a structured tool for communicating on health care teams. The SBAR tool was readily understood by students following a lecture (89%) and increased their confidence in communicating with preceptors (62%-83%) and nonpreceptors (62%-79%). A majority of students proficiently demonstrated the SBAR components (82%-86%) at the conclusion of the program. CONCLUSION:This approach can be adopted and adapted by other programs aiming to teach and evaluate SBAR and other team skills to better prepare new health professionals to effectively communicate on health care teams.






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Hudak, Nicholas M, Sandro O Pinheiro and Mamata Yanamadala (2019). Increasing Physician Assistant Students' Team Communication Skills and Confidence Throughout Clinical Training. The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association. pp. 1–1. 10.1097/jpa.0000000000000278 Retrieved from

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Nicholas Mark Hudak

Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

Nicholas Hudak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Duke University School of Medicine. He is faculty clinical coordinator with the Duke Physician Assistant (PA) Program, practicing PA in the Department of Neurology, and an Assistant Director in the Duke Center for Interprofessional Education and Care. 

Pinheiro de Oliveira

Sandro Pinheiro de Oliveira

Professor in Medicine

Dr. Pinheiro directs faculty development activities for clinical and basic science faculty, designs medical and interprofessional education curricula, coaches/mentors medical faculty and fellows, and conducts evaluation and research in medical and interprofessional education. His educational competencies are in the areas of adult learning, instructional strategies, active learning, curriculum design and evaluation, and qualitative inquiry. His research activities focus on medical and interprofessional education and the assessment of change in the teaching practice of clinical instructors.


Mamata Yanamadala

Associate Professor of Medicine

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