Simulation training improves critical decision-making skills of ER residents

A Henry Ford Hospital study found that simulation training improved the critical decision-making skills of medical residents performing actual resuscitations in the Emergency Department.

Researchers say the residents performed better in four key skill areas after receiving the simulation training: leadership, problem solving, situational awareness and communication. Their overall performance also sharpened.

While many studies have shown the benefits of simulation training for honing the skill level of medical professionals, Henry Ford's study evaluated residents' decision-making skills before performing simulated resuscitations and then performing the real-life emergency procedure.

The study will be presented Friday at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's annual meeting in Chicago.

"The improved performance from simulation to actual clinical practice was telling," says Sudhir Baliga, M.D., senior staff physician in Henry Ford's Emergency Department and the study's lead author. "This is another important example of as a teaching tool to prepare residents for actual bedside care."

Fifteen second-year residents were evaluated during three simulated resuscitations performed in May and June 2011 at Henry Ford's Center for Simulation, Education and Research, one of the largest simulation facilities in the United States. The residents also received classroom training.

Two months later, the residents were evaluated during three live resuscitations to determine a change in performance.

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