Use of simulation training to prepare pharmacy residents for medical emergencies

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The use of high-fidelity simulation training for preparing pharmacy residents for various high-stress and high-impact medical emergencies and the impact of this training on pharmacy residents' perception of preparedness are described.


During the 2015–16 residency year at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, simulation training, in addition to lecture-based orientation training, was chosen as a method to reinforce skills and knowledge learned throughout the orientation, before residents began working on-call shifts. Three different simulation exercises were developed to cover five selected topics over the course of 3 different days: sepsis as its own session, a surgical-themed session combining bleeding reversal and malignant hyperthermia, and a neurologic-themed session combining stroke and status epilepticus. Postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) specialty residents in critical care and emergency medicine helped facilitate the cases. The specialty residents played the role of the physician or nurse for the case and were allowed to answer questions asked of the pharmacy residents, appropriate to their respective roles. Following completion of the simulation exercise, a survey tool was sent to pharmacy residents to rate their perception of preparedness before and after the training for each scenario and again at 6 months after the simulation training to assess sustainability of the training. Participants generally responded that the simulations met their expectations and that the PGY2 residents facilitated the simulations fairly well (scores of 68.5–80 on a scale of 0–100). The resident-reported that beneficial effects of simulation training persisted at 6 months following the simulation exercises.


Simulation training increased pharmacy residents' self-reported preparedness for high-stress, high-impact clinical scenarios and medical emergencies.

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