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Simulation-based training on emergencies in cardiology: experience with 497 trainees

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Emergencies in cardiology are among the key requirements of appropriate therapy in emergency and critically ill patients. Medical simulation used in combination with traditional training methods can provide a comprehensive learning opportunity that allows the clinician to safely learn, practice, and repeat the procedures until proficiency is achieved.


(1) To address the use of medical simulation as a way for medical learners to acquire and maintain skills needed to manage emergencies in cardiology. (2) To evaluate the students' satisfaction with the course.


The study was performed at Berkeley Training Center – Brazil, between March 2002 and December 2006, with a total number of 497 trainees. Trainees received a baseline evaluation (n = 283) followed by an 8-hour training session that involved an introductory lecture, skills management with a mannequin simulator, clinical scenarios for the training ACLS algorithm, and instructor-facilitated debriefings. After finishing the course, the trainees were retested and completed a numerical scale survey (n = 497) of their perceptions about our course (1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good, and 4 = excellent).


(a) Performance improved significantly after simulator training (76.7% vs 58.1%, P < 0.001). (b) Seventy-five percent of participants scored less than 70% in the baseline evaluation, while only 25% scored less than 70% in the retest. (c) The course was considered excellent by 63% of the participants and good by 36%.


The extremely positive response to simulation-based training on emergencies in cardiology found in this pilot study suggests that this training modality may be valuable in the training of medical students and physicians. Simulation-based training is expected to become routine in many healthcare settings in the coming decade.

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Zawadzki, B., Figueiredo, A., Paoli, D. et al. Simulation-based training on emergencies in cardiology: experience with 497 trainees. Crit Care 11, P46 (2007) doi:10.1186/cc5833

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  • Healthcare Setting
  • Baseline Evaluation
  • Learning Opportunity
  • Training Modality
  • Simulator Training