Self-perceived impact of simulation-based training on the management of real-life obstetrical emergencies

Ana Reynolds, Diogo Ayres-de-Campos, Mariana Lobo
European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology 2011, 159 (1): 72-6

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the self-perceived impact of attending a simulation-based training course on the management of real-life obstetrical emergencies.

STUDY DESIGN: A prospective follow-up study was conducted. Obstetric nurses and obstetricians (n=54) from a tertiary care university hospital participated in a simulation-based training course for the management of four obstetric emergencies. One year after the last session of the course, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire evaluating the self-perceived impact it had on their knowledge, technical skills, and teamwork skills during experienced real-life situations. A five-point Likert grading scale was used. The χ(2) test with one degree of freedom or the Fisher's exact test were used to compare groups of participants. The t-test for independent samples was used to compare mean scores between groups.

RESULTS: A total of 46 healthcare professionals answered the questionnaire: 27 obstetricians and 19 obstetric nurses. Of these, 87% perceived an improvement (scores 4 or 5) in their knowledge and skills during real emergencies. Obstetric nurses expressed a significantly higher improvement than obstetricians in their ability to diagnose or be aware of obstetrical emergencies (p=0.002), in their technical skills (p=0.024), and in their ability to deal with teamwork related issues (p=0.005). Participants who had experienced in real-life situations all four simulated scenarios rated the impact of training significantly higher than others (p=0.049), and also reported a better improvement in their knowledge of management guidelines (p=0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare professionals who participated in a simulation-based training course in obstetrical emergencies perceived a substantial improvement in their knowledge and skills when witnessing real-life emergencies. Improvements seem to be particularly relevant for obstetric nurses and for those who witness all trained obstetrical emergencies.

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