PHTLS ® (Prehospital Trauma Life Support) provider courses in Germany - who takes part and what do participants think about prehospital trauma care training?

Christian B Frank, Christoph G Wölfl, Aidan Hogan, Arnold J Suda, Thorsten Gühring, Bernhard Gliwitzky, Matthias Münzberg
Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes 2014, 8: 7

BACKGROUND: The goal of this study was to examine PHTLS Provider courses in Germany and to proof the assumption that formation of physicians and paramedics in prehospital trauma care can be optimized.

METHODS: PHTLS participants were asked to fill out standardized questionnaires during their course preparation and directly after the course. There were some open questions regarding their professional background and closed questions concerning PHTLS itself. Further questions were to be answered on an analog scale in order to quantify subjective impressions of confidence, knowledge and also to describe individual levels of education and training.

RESULTS: 247 questionnaires could be analyzed. Physicians noted significant (p < 0.001) more deficits in their professional training than paramedics. 80% of the paramedics affirmed to have had adequate training with respect to prehospital trauma care, all physicians claimed not to have had sufficient training for prehospital trauma care situations at Medical School. Physicians were statistically most significant dissatisfied then paramedics (p < 0.001). While most participants gave positive feedback, anesthetists were less convinced of PHTLS (p = 0.005), didn't benefit as much as the rest (p = 0.004) and stated more often, that the course was of less value for their daily work (p = 0.03). After the course confidence increased remarkably and reached higher rates than before the course (p < 0.001). After PHTLS both groups showed similar ratings concerning the course concept indicating that PHTLS could equalize some training deficits and help to gain confidence and assurance in prehospital trauma situations. 90% of the paramedics and 100% of the physicians would recommend PHTLS. Physicians and especially anesthetists revised their opinions with regard to providing PHTLS at Medical School after having taken part in a PHTLS course.

CONCLUSION: The evaluation of PHTLS courses in Germany indicates the necessity for special prehospital trauma care training. Paramedics and physicians criticize deficits in their professional training, which can be compensated by PHTLS. With respect to relevant items like confidence and knowledge PHTLS leads to a statistically significant increase in ratings on a visual analogue scale. PHTLS should be integrated into the curriculum at Medical School.

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