Understanding Resident Performance, Mindfulness, and Communication in Critical Care Rotations

Kevin Real, Katelyn Fields-Elswick, Andrew C. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Evidence from the medical literature suggests that surgical trainees can benefit from mindful practices. Surgical educators are challenged with the need to address resident core competencies, some of which may be facilitated by higher levels of mindfulness. This study explores whether mindful residents perform better than their peers as members of the health care team. Design This study employed a multiphase, multimethod design to assess resident mindfulness, communication, and clinical performance. Setting Academic, tertiary medical center. Participants Residents (N = 51) working in an intensive care unit. In phase I, medical residents completed a self-report survey of mindfulness, communication, emotional affect, and clinical decision-making. In phase II, resident performance was assessed using independent ratings of mindfulness and clinical decision-making by attending physicians and registered nurses. Results In phase 1, a significant positive relationship was found between resident performance and mindfulness, positive affect (PA), and communication. In phase 2, attending physicians/registered nurses’ perceptions of residents’ mindfulness were positively correlated with communication and inversely related to negative affect (NA). The top quartile of residents for performance and mindfulness had the lowest NA. Higher-rated residents underestimated their performance/mindfulness, whereas those in the lowest quartile overestimated these factors. Conclusions This study offers a number of implications for medical resident education. First, mindfulness was perceived to be a significant contributor to self-assessments of competency and performance. Second, both PA and NA were important to mindfulness and performance. Third, communication was associated with resident performance, mindfulness, and PA. These implications suggest that individual characteristics of mindfulness, communication, and affect, all potentially modifiable, influence care quality and safety. To improve low performers, surgical educators could screen and identify residents with inaccurate self-assessments. Residents open to feedback will improve faster and develop awareness toward situations and interactions with patients, colleagues, attending physicians, and staff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-512
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

Keywords

  • clinical decision-making
  • communication
  • emotions
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Medical Knowledge
  • medical residents
  • mindfulness
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Professionalism
  • resident performance
  • Systems-Based Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

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