Trends in nursing feedback for emergency medicine residents: A mixed-methods survey analysis of national practices

AEM Educ Train. 2023 Oct 8;7(5):e10915. doi: 10.1002/aet2.10915. eCollection 2023 Oct.


Background: Feedback is critical for physician development. Multisource feedback is especially important in a team-based specialty such as emergency medicine (EM) and is required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Nursing assessments provide a unique perspective, but little is known about the current national patterns of their collection and use in EM.

Methods: We surveyed EM program directors using a mixed-methods approach to explore the use of nursing assessment of EM residents. Descriptive data were reported as absolute numbers and percentages. An adjunct analysis of free-text responses was done using the framework method.

Results: The response rate for our survey was 63% (190 responses), of which 84% currently collect nursing feedback. Respondents from 94% of programs agreed that nursing feedback is useful in assessing professionalism and respondents from 92% of programs agreed that nursing feedback is useful in assessing communication and interpersonal skills, while 44% agreed that it is useful in informing resident medical knowledge. Forty-two percent reported that nursing feedback did not directly influence residents' progression through their training, while 2% indicated that such feedback played a significant role in leading to dismissal or probation. The majority of programs (64%) that do not collect feedback from nurses have done so in the past and hope to do so in the future. Qualitative analysis revealed themes of logistic challenges with data collection, concern regarding quality of feedback, and retributive or gender-disparate feedback.

Conclusions: Nursing assessments of EM residents were collected by most responding programs and majority of those who do not collect them presently wish to do so in the future. They were considered particularly useful in the assessment of interpersonal skills, communication, and professionalism. However, lack of uniform methods for collecting assessment that meaningfully informs resident development and progression represents a challenge and direction for future inquiry.