Advanced practice providers (APPs) are important members of stroke teams. Stroke code simulations offer valuable experience in the evaluation and treatment of stroke patients without compromising patient care. We hypothesized that simulation training would increase APP confidence, comfort level, and preparedness in leading a stroke code similar to neurology residents.Methods
This is a prospective quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest study. Nine APPs and 9 neurology residents participated in 3 standardized simulated cases to determine need for IV thrombolysis, thrombectomy, and blood pressure management for intracerebral hemorrhage. Emergency medicine physicians and neurologists were preceptors. APPs and residents completed a survey before and after the simulation. Generalized mixed modeling assuming a binomial distribution was used to evaluate change.Results
On a 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree), confidence in leading a stroke code increased from 2.4 to 4.2 (p < 0.05) among APPs. APPs reported improved comfort level in rapidly assessing a stroke patient for thrombolytics (3.1–4.2; p < 0.05), making the decision to give thrombolytics (2.8 vs 4.2; p < 0.05), and assessing a patient for embolectomy (2.4–4.0; p < 0.05). There was no difference in the improvement observed in all the survey questions as compared to neurology residents.Conclusion
Simulation training is a beneficial part of medical education for APPs and should be considered in addition to traditional didactics and clinical training. Further research is needed to determine whether simulation education of APPs results in improved treatment times and outcomes of acute stroke patients.