An Approach to Moderate Sedation Simulation Training

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Each year millions of patients undergo procedures that require moderate sedation. These patients are at risk of complications from oversedation that can progress to respiratory depression or even death. This article describes the creation of a simulation-based medical education course for nonanesthesiologists who use sedation in their specialty practice and preliminary data from our precourse and postcourse assessments.


Our course combined online and lecture-based didactics with simulation education to teach moderate sedation and basic emergency airway management to nonanesthesiologists. After online precourse materials were reviewed, participants attended an 8-hour simulation-based training course focused on the recognition of different levels of sedation, medication titration, sedation reversal, and airway support and rescue. To evaluate the course, precourse, and postcourse educational impacts, cognitive and simulation tests were administered. Participants completed a postcourse survey.


To date, 45 physicians have participated in the course. We have cognitive performance data on 19 participants and survey data for 45 participants. Postcourse simulation tests results were improved compared with precourse tests. Our course was rated “better” or “much better” in comparison to courses using lecture-only format by 100% of the participants.


A course using a combination of didactic and simulation education to teach moderate sedation is described. Our initial data demonstrated a significant increase in knowledge, skills, and clinical judgment. Future research efforts should focus on examining the validity and reliability of scenario scoring and the impact of training on clinical practice.

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