An Evaluation of the Ability of Navy Hospital Corpsmen to Collect Chest Pain Data from Patients
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
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Sixteen Navy Hospital Corpsmen received instruction in the definition of chest pain signs and symptoms, and in specific data collection procedures. The corpsmen conducted examinations of 102 patients presenting at an emergency room with chest pain. Their ability to collect history and physical exam data was evaluated by observation, and by the agreement between the findings of the corpsmen and those of the physician. The use of agreement with the physician as a method of evaluating the corpsmens ability of collect data was found unsatisfactory. Agreement between physicians and corpsmen could have resulted from very accurate judgements by the latter or it could have been a by-product of reports by both groups that normal findings predominated. The observers ratings showed the corpsmens investigation of many history categories to be accurate and complete. The kind of errors made suggest that additional training could easily improve performance. The corpsmens performance was not as good on physical exam categories. The kind of errors made suggest that the corpsmen need further instruction in procedures to collect data, and in interpretation of elicited data. Resolution of this problem may require more clinical, hands-on training with on-site feedback from senior personnel.
- Medicine and Medical Research