Background Many Foundation Year One (FY1) doctors feel anxious and lack confidence in caring for the dying. Prescribing anticipatory medication is one element of this care. Pocket cards with the standard anticipatory medication regimes have been distributed to junior doctors in Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust since 2013. Previous published studies have demonstrated that pocket cards improve confidence and competence in prescribing.
Objective To evaluate the impact of anticipatory medication pocket cards on confidence and competence with prescribing in FY1 doctors at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.
Method Distribution of a short electronic survey to FY1 doctors at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust to assess knowledge of anticipatory medication, use of pocket cards and whether the doctors felt to cards improved their confidence with prescribing.
Results The survey was completed by 17 FY1 doctors across Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. Four (24%) of respondents possessed a pocket card. Of these four, all listed the anticipatory medication and their indications correctly. The FY1 doctors who did not possess a pocket card, only 62% correctly listed the medication. The main resource used for anticipatory prescribing was the hospital guidelines. For those with pocket cards 100% of respondents found them a useful resource and felt they improved their confidence. Many of the doctors without cards also felt they would be useful if they had access to them.
Conclusion The distribution of pocket cards amongst the FY1 doctors questioned was poor (24%) however of those that did possess a card 100% found it to be useful. The next step is to distribute pocket cards to all FY1 doctors at SWBH and repeat the survey after this intervention.
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