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In situ simulation-based team training for post-cardiac surgical emergency chest reopen in the intensive care unit

Intensive Care Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia


Emergency chest reopen of the post cardiac surgical patient in the intensive care unit is a high-stakes but infrequent procedure which requires a high-level team response and a unique skill set. We evaluated the impact on knowledge and confidence of team-based chest reopen training using a patient simulator compared with standard video-based training. We evaluated 49 medical and nursing participants before and after training using a multiple choice questions test and a questionnaire of self-reported confidence in performing or assisting with emergency reopen.
Both video- and simulation-based training significantly improved results in objective and subjective domains. Although the post-test scores did not differ between the groups for either the objective (P=0.28) or the subjective measures (P=0.92), the simulation-based training produced a numerically larger improvement in both domains. In a multiple choice question out of 10, participants improved by a mean of 1.9 marks with manikin-based training compared to 0.9 with video training (P=0.03). On a questionnaire out of 20 assessing subjective levels of confidence, scores improved by 3.9 with manikin training compared to 1.2 with video training (P=0.002).
Simulation-based training appeared to be at least as effective as video-based training in improving both knowledge and confidence in post cardiac surgical emergency resternotomy.

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