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Learning in the ED: chaos, partners and paradoxes

Learning in the ED: chaos, partners and paradoxes Most contemporary research in medical education focuses on the undergraduate component conducted within medical schools. The purpose of this paper, however, is to better understand how medical residents and practicing attending physicians learned to practice within the context of the emergency medicine department (ED) workplace.Design/methodology/approachIn all, 18 residents and 15 attending physicians were interviewed about their learning in the ED. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim then analysed using an iterative approach. Emergent themes were shared with the participants to ensure they were an accurate representation of their lived experiences.FindingsThe first of the three main findings was that the ED learning environment was characterised as “messy” because of the inherently chaotic nature of the workplace. The second finding was that patients and nurses were informal partners in learning. The third main finding was that learning and working in the ED can be difficult, isolating and often lacks continuity.Research limitations/implicationsThe main limitation associated with this research relates to the highly situated and contextually bound nature of this study. Nevertheless, the findings should be generative for others interested in supporting the work and learning of health professionals.Originality/valueThis study shifts the focus in medical education research from formal undergraduate education to learning in high stress and chaotic workplaces. Accordingly, this work provides valuable insights for others interested in the messy realities of learning in professional practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Workplace Learning Emerald Publishing

Learning in the ED: chaos, partners and paradoxes

Journal of Workplace Learning , Volume 31 (6): 16 – Sep 16, 2019

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References (47)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1366-5626
DOI
10.1108/jwl-11-2018-0135
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Most contemporary research in medical education focuses on the undergraduate component conducted within medical schools. The purpose of this paper, however, is to better understand how medical residents and practicing attending physicians learned to practice within the context of the emergency medicine department (ED) workplace.Design/methodology/approachIn all, 18 residents and 15 attending physicians were interviewed about their learning in the ED. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim then analysed using an iterative approach. Emergent themes were shared with the participants to ensure they were an accurate representation of their lived experiences.FindingsThe first of the three main findings was that the ED learning environment was characterised as “messy” because of the inherently chaotic nature of the workplace. The second finding was that patients and nurses were informal partners in learning. The third main finding was that learning and working in the ED can be difficult, isolating and often lacks continuity.Research limitations/implicationsThe main limitation associated with this research relates to the highly situated and contextually bound nature of this study. Nevertheless, the findings should be generative for others interested in supporting the work and learning of health professionals.Originality/valueThis study shifts the focus in medical education research from formal undergraduate education to learning in high stress and chaotic workplaces. Accordingly, this work provides valuable insights for others interested in the messy realities of learning in professional practice.

Journal

Journal of Workplace LearningEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 16, 2019

Keywords: Workplace learning; Clinical learning; Post-graduate medical education; Emergency medicine; Allied health; Informal learning

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