This study aims to assess the inclusion of second victims and other patient safety issues in the curricula of undergraduate medical and nursing degrees in the countries participating in the European Researchers’ Network Working on Second Victims (The ERSNT Consortium, COST Action 19,113). A review of medical and nursing school curricula in 206 universities was carried out, using their websites to search for subjects addressing “patient safety”, “quality of care”, “risk management”, “safe practices”, “interprofessional communication”, “adverse events”, and “second victims”. There was substantial variability in the extent of training for patient safety. Forty-four out of 88 nursing schools and 74 of 118 medical schools did not include any of the patient safety topics studied. The most frequent in both nursing and medicine was “interprofessional communication”, followed by “quality of care” and basic aspects on “patient safety”. The second victim phenomenon was present in only one curriculum of the total sample. Our study showed that patient safety, especially the second victim phenomenon, is still neglected in medical and nursing curricula in European universities, although positive initiatives were also found. Given the frequency with which adverse events occur in health centres and the need to prepare students to deal with them adequately, additional efforts are needed to introduce patient safety elements into medical and nursing education.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article is based upon work from COST Action The European Researchers’ Network Working on Second Victims, CA19113, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). http://www.cost.eu . During the execution of this document, JJM enjoyed a research activity intensification contract funded by the Carlos III Health Institute (reference INT22/00012).
© 2023, BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.
- Adverse events
- Interprofessional communication
- Patient safety
- Quality of care
- Risk management
- Safe practices
- Second victims
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nursing (all)