First aid and basic life support of junior doctors: A prospective study in Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Med Teach. 2006 Mar;28(2):189-92. doi: 10.1080/01421590500312847.


According to the Dutch medical education guidelines junior doctors are expected to be able to perform first aid and basic life support. A prospective study was undertaken to assess the level of first aid and basic life support (BLS) competence of junior doctors at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC), the Netherlands. Fifty-four junior doctors (18%), of the medical students in their final years, were submitted to a theoretical test, composed of multiple-choice questions concerning first aid and basic life support. This test was followed by a practical test consisting of two out-of-hospital first aid and basic life support scenarios including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In total, 19% of the junior doctors passed the theoretical test. The first scenario was performed correctly in 11%. The CPR situation was correctly performed by 30% of the students as observed by the examiners but when assessed by the checklists of Berden only 6% of the students performed correct CPR. It is concluded that the level of first aid and basic life support of the junior doctors at the RUNMC is low and does not meet the required level as stated in the guidelines for practice of medical education in the Netherlands.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Educational Measurement
  • First Aid*
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care*
  • Netherlands
  • Prospective Studies