Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics

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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:


Longitudinal Assessment of a Fourth Year Medical Student Pediatric Simulation Elective

Authors:
Mallory R Taylor, BS - Dartmouth Medical School; Matthew S Braga, MD - Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

BACKGROUND: Dartmouth Medical School has offered a one-week elective course in Pediatric Simulations to fourth year students since 2009 involving various simulated pediatric emergency scenarios and procedures.  Students are also taught to develop, facilitate, and debrief their own simulated scenarios.  

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if the Pediatric Simulation course has impacted the level of comfort and preparedness of medical students and currently practicing residents during pediatric resuscitations, and determine continued use of simulation in residency training. 

DESIGN/METHODS: Students completed a pre and post course survey on comfort with various aspects of pediatric resuscitation.  Former participants in the Pediatric Simulation Elective were contacted.  Consenting individuals (n = 15) participated in an original semi-structured telephone interview consisting of both Lickert Scale ratings and open-ended questions regarding their involvement in pediatric resuscitation, level of comfort with various pediatric resuscitation procedures and roles, current use of simulation training, and perceived impact on performance as residents. 

RESULTS: 93% of current residents felt the Pediatrics Simulation Elective positively impacted their ability to perform in pediatric emergency situations in residency, with 73% indicating they strongly agreed.  Commonly identified beneficial aspects of the simulation training included confidence to be proactive in real codes, familiarity with equipment and different roles, and practice in a safe environment.  80% of participants indicated they continue to use simulation in their residency training, with an average frequency of once per month, and 20% used simulation as a teaching technique themselves.  67% of participants indicated they were involved with at least 1 pediatric resuscitation per month.  Surveys of medical students before and after their elective experience indicated a marked increase in confidence and comfort with pediatric resuscitation roles and procedures.

CONCLUSION:  Pediatric resuscitation continues to be a common occurrence for pediatric residents, and simulation training in medical school appears to have a positive impact on both medical student and resident confidence and comfort in real emergency situations.  This increased comfort with resuscitations can lead to more proactive involvement with codes, and therefore the potential for more exposure and practice with these difficult scenarios.