Background: Although nurses must be able to respond quickly and effectively to cardiac arrest, numerous studies have demonstrated poor performance. Simulation is a promising learning tool for resuscitation team training but there are few studies that examine simulation for training defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (D-CPR) in teams from the nursing education perspective. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which nursing student teams follow the D-CPR-algorithm in a simulated cardiac arrest, and if observing a simulated cardiac arrest scenario and participating in the post simulation debriefing would improve team performance.
Methods: We studied video-recorded simulations of D-CPR performance in 28 nursing student teams. Besides describing the overall performance of D-CPR, we compared D-CPR performance in two groups. Group A (n = 14) performed D-CPR in a simulated cardiac arrest scenario, while Group B (n = 14) performed D-CPR after first observing performance of Group A and participating in the debriefing. We developed a D-CPR checklist to assess team performance.
Results: Overall there were large variations in how accurately the nursing student teams performed the specific parts of the D-CPR algorithm. While few teams performed opening the airways and examination of breathing correctly, all teams used a 30:2 compression: ventilation ratio.We found no difference between Group A and Group B in D-CPR performance, either in regard to total points on the check list or to time variables.
Conclusion: We found that none of the nursing student teams achieved top scores on the D-CPR-checklist. Observing the training of other teams did not increase subsequent performance. We think all this indicates that more time must be assigned for repetitive practice and reflection. Moreover, the most important aspects of D-CPR, such as early defibrillation and hands-off time in relation to shock, must be highlighted in team-training of nursing students.