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


Emergencies in cardiology are among the key demands of therapy in emergency and critically ill patients. The study objectives were to address the use of medical simulation as a way for medical learners to acquire and maintain skills needed to manage emergencies in cardiology, and to evaluate the students' satisfaction with the course.


Between March 2002 and December 2006, a total of 497 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 (Figure 1), clinical scenarios for the training ACLS algorithm, and instructor-facilitated debriefings. After finishing the course, they were retested and completed a numerical scale survey (n = 497) of their perceptions about the course (1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good, and 4 = excellent).

Figure 1
figure 1

Defibrillation in a cardiac arrest.


Performance improved significantly after simulator training (76.7% vs 58.1%, P < 0.001); 75% of participants scored less than 70% in the baseline evaluation while only 25% scored less than 70% in the retest. 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 the present study suggests that this training modality may be valuable in the training of medical students and physicians. Most students considered the course excellent. 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 12 (Suppl 2), P541 (2008).

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