Nominal group technique review of the emergency care content of the clinical skills module in the undergraduate medical programme at the University of the Free State

T Hagemeister


Background. Handling medical emergencies is essential for medical practitioners. Medical students at the University of the Free State have an emergency care block in their third year. Nominal group technique (NGT) has been introduced for programme development, and has been used for the assessment of educational programmes.
Objectives. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current teaching programme, as experienced by the students, and to obtain advice from lecturers on available resources and additional requirements.

Methods. A two-stage NGT was used to identify strengths and weaknesses of the programme from the ‘clients’ (students), and for the ‘experts’ (clinicians and educators) to suggest possible improvements. Two NGT sessions were conducted with students that had either recently (third-year students) or 2 years ago (fifth-year students) been exposed to the module. Students were asked to identify positive and negative aspects. Based on these sessions, two further NGTs were conducted with groups of ‘experts’ from the School of Medicine, asking for suggestions for improvement in the current resources, and for additional resources necessary.

Results. Students valued the practical skills obtained and some of the format of the teaching, but requested an increase of practical content, as well as additional tools and modes of teaching. Lecturers suggested co-ordinating outcomes to clarify basic concepts and to use additional media, but emphasised the need for human resources, teaching tools and functional clinical equipment.
Conclusion. NGT provides a valuable tool to obtain critical suggestions from students and lecturers for improvement of the clinical teaching of emergency care.

Author's affiliations

T Hagemeister, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(4):240. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i4.132

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-01-28
Date published: 2022-01-28

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