Use of Simulation to Improve the Comfort of Pediatric Residents Managing Critically Ill Emergency Department Patients

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Abstract

Objectives

The aims of this study were to identify the needs for further critical care experience for pediatric and internal medicine–pediatric residents, to describe a multidisciplinary approach to education, and to assess the impact of high-fidelity simulation on critical care comfort and perceived competence in pediatric residents. In addition, this study assessed pediatric residents' attitudes toward simulation as a means of providing additional education with critically ill patients.

Methods

Residents on their pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) rotation voluntarily participated in a 2-hour simulation session. Each session involved the evaluation and management of 3 critically ill pediatric patients with emergency medicine and pediatric/PEM faculty facilitating and debriefing as a team. All resident participants were asked to complete a presession and postsession survey including questions rating their comfort level with common emergent pediatric disease processes and procedures on a 5-point Likert scale.

Results

Overall, the participants reported a significant improvement in comfort level in most categories with P < 0.05. The majority of the resident participants rated the simulation program as a valuable learning tool for managing pediatric emergencies and felt that it would be beneficial to have additional simulation experiences in the PEM curriculum.

Conclusions

This simulation program improved resident comfort in important aspects of the care of critically ill pediatric patients. The use of simulation as an educational tool for pediatric emergencies is considered valuable to residents in our program. In addition, simulation provides an opportunity for educational collaboration between academic departments.

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