Traditional Poster Round


A Survey of Instructors' Attitudes towards Simulation-Based Education in Paediatric Life Support in Scotland

Tuesday, May 15
09:45 - 10:45
Location: The Gate, Atrium 3rd Level

Background: : Life support and critical care courses use a range of instructional methods to convey and assess theory and teach skills (1). Courses may incorporate non-simulation modalities, to deliver the taught theory component. Additionally, they use simulated scenarios. Theory is examined through the use of a multiple choice question (MCQ) examination.

Educators are facilitators of learning and change. Attitudes may influence teaching behaviour and both course development, delivery and quality (2). Little is known about the attitudes and beliefs of instructors towards methods used to teach and assess paediatric life support and critical care.

Research Question: : The aim of this audit was to determine what the attitudes of instructors in Scotland are towards paediatric simulation-based courses.

The primary outcome measure was to determine instructor attitudes to high-fidelity simulation (HFS) with regards to learner outcomes in novice and experienced providers.

The secondary outcome measures were to determine instructor attitudes to pre-course material and assessment of theory.

Methodology: : An anonymised questionnaire was distributed to paediatric life support education providers throughout Scotland. Questions were asked about demographics of respondents and their simulation experience. Further questions assessed attitudes to the perceived benefits of using HFS across various learner outcomes, its use in experienced providers as well as attitudes to pre-course material and to assessment of theoretical knowledge.

Results: : 58 responses were obtained over the period of two months (March/April 2016). There was a wide range of overall simulation teaching experience. Trainers agreed that HFS was most beneficial in improving learner satisfaction and mental flow but not for knowledge or skill retention.

32/58 (55%) disagreed with HFS being the only meaningful training in experienced providers with a wider distribution of attitudes towards simulation being used as tool for compulsory annual appraisal.

There was strong agreement that pre-course material is essential (46/58[79%]) however 15/58 (26%) stated their disagreement in videos being an effective method. 46/58 (79%) believed that it is essential to test theory with 46/58 (79%) agreeing or strongly agreeing that theory should be tested pre-course. 14/58 (24%) felt that participants should not be allowed to proceed if they failed.

Discussion/Conclusions: : Higher mannequin fidelity is perceived as being superior for all learner outcomes. Poor knowledge and skill retention are noted to be an issue regardless of fidelity. The role of simulation in the experienced provider needs to be further explored. Positive attitudes are shown towards pre-course material and MCQ testing. The efficacy of video material may be underestimated. Theoretical knowledge and its assessment remain important.


Specialty Registrar in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine
North of Scotland School of Anaesthesia
Ellon, Scotland, United Kingdom

I, Dr Joanna Thirsk (MBChB MSc FRCA MRCEM DCH DA DipPEC), am a specialty registrar in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine from the North of Scotland School of Anaesthesia. I completed undergraduate training in South Africa. After working in multiple acute specialties, I overwintered as team doctor on the 48th South African National Antarctic Expedition before commencing a clinical research fellowship in critical care at King's College hospital. I started postgraduate specialty training in Scotland in 2012. Apart from adult intensive care medicine, I have a keen interest in paediatric anaesthesia and critical care. I recently completed an MSc in Paediatric Emergency Medicine through the University of Edinburgh. I am an Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor and also teach on SAFE (Safer Anaesthesia from Education) courses.


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Co-director MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine
University of Edinburgh


Send Email for Thomas Beattie

Paula Midgley, MBChB MD

Co-Director MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine
University of Edinburgh


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David Kessler, MD, MSc

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Leonia, NJ

David Kessler, MD, MSc, is a longtime student of the growing art & science of simulation. David’s experience with simulation-based medical education, standardized patients, patient outcome oriented research, quality improvement, and change management has resulted to numerous grant-funded studies and peer-reviewed publications. As the director of clinical simulation for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Division at Columbia University Medical Center David has focused on leveraging inter-professional simulation (in situ) to grow the culture of safety, strengthen teamwork/communication, and improve patient care. As co-director and one of the co-founders for INSPIRE, (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research and Education) an international pediatric research network focused on outcome oriented simulation research in acute care, resuscitation and skills—David has helped to grow a community of practice dedicated to collaboration and mentorship among investigators committed to scholarship in simulation. Personal interests include using simulation to plan and assess new clinical spaces, and integrating innovative technology into healthcare.


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A Survey of Instructors' Attitudes towards Simulation-Based Education in Paediatric Life Support in Scotland

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