Objective: To describe pediatric housestaff knowledge, experience, confidence in pediatric resuscitations and their ability to perform important resuscitation procedures during the usual training experience.
Design and participants: Cohort study of PGY-3 level residents in a ACGME accredited pediatric residency training program at a large, tertiary care children's hospital.
Methods: Fund of knowledge was assessed by administering the standardized test from the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Course in addition to a supplemental short answer test requiring clinical problem-solving skills. Procedural skills were evaluated through observation of the resident performing four procedures during a skills workshop using a weighted step-wise grading sheet. Resident experience and confidence was quantified using an anonymous survey.
Results: Ninety-seven percent of residents participated. Residents achieved high scores on the standardized PALS test (93.2%+/-5.5), but performed less well when answering more complicated questions (60.0%+/-9.9) on the short answer test. No resident was able to successfully perform both basic and advanced airway skills, and only 11% successfully completed both vascular skills. Although residents were overall confident in their resuscitation skills, performance in the skill workshop revealed significant deficits. For example, only 18% performed ancillary airway maneuvers properly. None of the residents performed all four skills correctly. Experience in both real and mock resuscitations was infrequent. Residents reported receiving feedback on their performance less than half of the time. Over 89% of them felt that resuscitation knowledge and skill were important for their future chosen career.
Conclusion: Pediatric residents infrequently lead or participate in real or mock resuscitations. Although confident in performing many of the necessary resuscitation skills, few residents performed critical components of these skills correctly. Current pediatric residency training may not provide sufficient experience to develop adequate skills, fund of knowledge, or confidence needed for resuscitation.