This study was designed to determine the impact of the internship experience on the BSTP.
The survey evaluated job allocations, intern education, clinical skills development, and exposure to patient care. A combination of binary responses (yes, no) and Likert scoring (cuing at 1 never/disagree, and at 6 always/strongly agree) were used to code responses.
Thirty five trainees responded (all those present at a study day), representing 60% of all trainees. These trainees undertook approximately 130 rotations, with 12 (34%) undertaking a paediatric rotation.
Relating to intern education; only 10 (28%) of trainees had a mentor. Education was frequently provided as scheduled (Likert mean (LM) 3.82). The preferred method of teaching was bedside delivered.
Interns strongly agreed that time management (LM 5.0, Positive skew (PS) 82%) and communication skills (LM 4.9, PS 71%) were clinical skills developed during intern year
Relating to exposure to patient care; Interns were frequently out of their comfort zone in dealing with patients (LM 4.3, PS 41%). Most said they had never been debriefed after attending an emergency situation (LM 1.7, PS 3%). An elevated Early Warning Score (EWS) in Irish hospitals precludes intern assessment however this rule is frequently ignored (LM 4.9, PS 80%). Interns infrequently clerked patients in the emergency department (LM 2.6, PS 14%), although many agreed that interns should be clerking patients (LM 4.4, PS 55%)
This survey highlights the variability of the internship experience in Ireland, and highlights some areas where direct improvements could be made.