Resident training in pediatric critical care transport medicine: a survey of pediatric residency programs

R F Fazio, D S Wheeler, W B Poss
Pediatric Emergency Care 2000, 16 (3): 166-9

OBJECTIVE: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Program Requirement for Pediatrics includes specific objectives that pediatric residents participate in both the pre-hospital care of acutely ill or injured patients and the stabilization and transport of patients to critical care areas. Previously, residents were often included as the physician component for many pediatric critical care transport teams. Subsequent regionalization of transport services and development of nurse-only transport teams prompted us to determine the current level of resident participation in pediatric critical care transport as well as how individual residency programs were meeting the educational objectives.

METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to each pediatric residency program listed in the 1996-1997 GME Directory. Information was obtained regarding the size of the hospital and the residency program, the presence of a pediatric critical care transport team, the number of annual transports, and transport team leader. In addition, the use of pediatric residents for transports was ascertained, as well as their specific role, training requirements, and method of evaluation.

RESULTS: Data were received from 138 programs for a return rate of 65%. Eighty percent of programs offered a pediatric critical care transport service. Nurse-led teams were used for 51% of NICU and 44% of PICU transports. Of the 82 NICU and 84 PICU teams that used residents, the majority used them as team leaders (60% and 70%; respectively) with only the minority requiring that they be at the PL-3 year or greater. The training and/or certification required for resident participation in transports varied among programs, with 85% requiring completion of a NICU or PICU rotation, and 94% requiring NRP or PALS certification. Programs that did not allow resident participation provided exposure to Transport Medicine by various mechanisms, including lectures and emergency department (ED) rotations.

CONCLUSION: Pediatric resident participation in critical care transport varies widely among pediatric critical care transport teams. The degree to which residents participate in the transport team would appear to have diminished in comparison to previous studies. Transport teams often use other resources, such as nurses, fellows, or attendings, to lead their transport teams. Pediatric resident exposure to and participation in Transport Medicine varies among programs, as do the methods used to prepare residents for their experience.

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