Background Clinical simulation of medical emergencies in a supported environment is a recognised method to develop skills.
Aim To investigate whether simulation training improves paediatric trainees’ confidence in emergency situations.
Methods We designed a neonatal simulation programme aimed at junior paediatric trainees (UK Specialty Trainees 1–3) and facilitated by senior trainees. Within 4 months we ran 10 scenarios, in which participants were assigned to a clinical or observer role, followed by a detailed group debrief. Written feedback was obtained from participants including scores (1–10; 10 =excellent) for 5 key domains (resuscitation, clinical decision-making, team communication, emergency communication and confidence) and overall aims of the session (score 1–5). Trainees also gave 3 free-text learning points. The study was approved by hospital R&D Committee and participants’ consent was obtained. Scores between the clinical and observer roles were compared by an unpaired t-test.
Results A total of 51 feedback forms were collected from 30 members of the neonatal multidisciplinary team (some participated more than once). Participants with clinical roles in the scenarios gave significantly higher mean scores than those observing for all domains except communication skills within the team (Table 1). The top learning themes reported were communication, medical management of complex cases and escalation of care.
Conclusion Simulation of neonatal emergencies improved trainees’ confidence in their resuscitation skills and clinical decision-making. Clinical role participants benefitted more than observers.
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