The aims of this study were to assess emergency department (ED) physician perception of hand injuries and improve their understanding and confidence in treating these injuries.
Combined didactic and hands-on workshops for ED physicians were developed and run by a team of medical students, plastic surgeons, and ED physicians. The workshops consisted of a short review by a hand surgeon followed by hands-on sessions involving radiograph assessment, administration of local anesthetic, closed reduction, and splinting. Two sessions, 6 months apart, were provided. The workshops were evaluated using preworkshop and postworkshop questionnaires to assess the following domains: confidence and competence in treating hand injuries, knowledge of basic hand injury care, and feedback on the intervention itself.
Fifty physicians participated in the workshops. After the workshops, physician recognition of hand fracture reduction as a critical skill increased. Self-efficacy ratings of fracture assessment, administration of local anesthetic, performing a reduction, and applying post reduction immobilization increased. Median scores on knowledge-testing questions also increased postintervention from 73.3% (95% confidence interval, 70.2–78.5) to 86.7% (95% confidence interval, 79.3–86.2) (P < 0.05). Finally, physicians reported that they found the intervention educational, useful, and important, and approximately 90% of participants indicated they intended to change their practice based on this intervention.
Knowledge sharing between specialists and generalists through combined didactic and hands-on workshops is an effective and well-received method of refining physician knowledge and increasing confidence in treating subspecialty-specific clinical presentations.