Target-focused medical emergency team training using a human patient simulator: effects on behaviour and attitude

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Abstract

Context

Full-scale simulation training is an accepted learning method for gaining behavioural skills in team-centred domains such as aviation, the nuclear power industry and, recently, medicine. In this study we evaluated the effects of a simulator team training method based on targets and known principles in cognitive psychology.

Methods

This method was developed and adapted for a medical emergency team. In particular, we created a trauma team course for novices, and allowed 15 students to practise team skills in 5 full-scale scenarios. Students' team behaviour was video-recorded and students' attitude towards safe teamwork was assessed using a questionnaire before and after team practice.

Results

Nine of 10 observed team skills improved significantly in response to practice, in parallel with a global rating of team skills. In contrast, no change in attitude toward safe teamwork was registered.

Conclusion

The use of team skills in 5 scenarios in a full-scale patient simulator environment implementing a training method based on targets and known principles in cognitive psychology improved individual team skills but had no immediate effect on attitude toward safe patient care.

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