An exploratory study of factors influencing resuscitation skills retention and performance among health providers

J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2012 Spring;32(2):126-33. doi: 10.1002/chp.21135.


Introduction: Resuscitation and life support skills training comprises a significant proportion of continuing education programming for health professionals. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and attitudes of certified resuscitation providers toward the retention of resuscitation skills, regular skills updating, and methods for enhancing retention.

Methods: A mixed-methods, explanatory study design was undertaken utilizing focus groups and an online survey-questionnaire of rural and urban health care providers.

Results: Rural providers reported less experience with real codes and lower abilities across a variety of resuscitation areas. Mock codes, practice with an instructor and a team, self-practice with a mannequin, and e-learning were popular methods for skills updating. Aspects of team performance that were felt to influence resuscitation performance included: discrepancies in skill levels, lack of communication, and team leaders not up to date on their skills. Confidence in resuscitation abilities was greatest after one had recently practiced or participated in an update or an effective debriefing session. Lowest confidence was reported when team members did not work well together, there was no clear leader of the resuscitation code, or if team members did not communicate.

Discussion: The study findings highlight the importance of access to update methods for improving providers' confidence and abilities, and the need for emphasis on teamwork training in resuscitation. An eclectic approach combining methods may be the best strategy for addressing the needs of health professionals across various clinical departments and geographic locales.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Certification
  • Clinical Competence* / standards
  • Clinical Competence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / standards*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care / psychology
  • Male
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Qualitative Research
  • Regional Health Planning
  • Resuscitation / education*
  • Retention, Psychology*
  • Rural Health Services
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health Services
  • Workforce