Interdisciplinary onsite team-based simulation training in the neonatal intensive care unit: a pilot report

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Simulation training improves individual clinician confidence, performance and self-efficacy in resuscitation and procedural training experiences. The reality of resuscitation experiences in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is that they are team-accomplished events. However, limited data exist on team-based simulation training (TBST) in the NICU. We report the experience of TBST over a 4-year period.

STUDY DESIGN:

This is a retrospective report of 65 TBST events in a 71-bed Level IV NICU at a regional subspecialty children's hospital. Participants were more than 500 NICU staff, including neonatal/cardiac/surgical attendings, neonatal fellows, neonatal nurse practitioners, pediatric residents, registered nurses and respiratory therapists. Background work, common case scenarios, training objectives and learning opportunities were reported, along with discipline-specific, and team and system areas for improvement. Qualitative, subjective data were tracked and efforts at collecting quantitative, objective data are ongoing.

RESULTS:

Seventy-five TBST events were scheduled from November 2010 through December 2014; 10 of these were canceled. TBST events occurred both night (n = 23) and day (n = 42), and also on weekends (n = 19), using high-fidelity (n = 42) and low-fidelity (n = 23) systems. Resuscitation team participants at each TBST were 12-30 providers and staff. The duration of each TBST event was 30-65 min including debriefing. Systems issues were identified and corrected, including problems activating the code pathway, issues using a pager activation system and confusion over resuscitation team roles and responsibilities. Educational needs were addressed, focused on topic areas that included arrhythmias and use of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

CONCLUSION:

With appropriate planning and implementation, TBST is feasible and realistic in a busy NICU.

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