Needs Assessment for Simulation Training for Prehospital Providers in Botswana

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018 Dec;33(6):621-626. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X18001024. Epub 2018 Nov 13.


Background: In June 2012, the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW; Gaborone, Botswana) initiated a national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in response to significant morbidity and mortality associated with prehospital emergencies. The MOHW requested external expertise to train its developing workforce. Simulation-based training was planned to equip these health care providers with clinical knowledge, procedural skills, and communication techniques.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the educational needs of the pioneer Botswana MOHW EMS providers based on retrospective EMS logbook review and EMS provider feedback to guide development of a novel educational curriculum.

Methods: Data were abstracted from a representative sample of the Gaborone, Botswana MOHW EMS response log from 2013-2014 and were quantified into the five most common call types for both adults and children. Informal focus groups with health professionals and EMS staff, as well as surveys, were used to rank common response call types and self-perceived educational needs.

Results: Based on 1,506 calls, the most common adult response calls were for obstetric emergencies, altered mental status, gastrointestinal/abdominal pain, trauma, gynecological emergencies, and cardiovascular and respiratory distress-related emergencies. The most common pediatric response calls were for respiratory distress, gastrointestinal complaints/dehydration, trauma and musculoskeletal injuries, newborn delivery, seizures, and toxic ingestion/exposure. The EMS providers identified these same chief complaints as priorities for training using the qualitative approach. A locally relevant, simulation-based curriculum for the Botswana MOHW EMS system was developed and implemented based on these data.

Conclusions: Trauma, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal complaints, and puerperal/perinatal emergencies were common conditions for all age groups. Other age-specific conditions were also identified as educational needs based on epidemiologic data and provider feedback. This needs assessment may be useful when designing locally relevant EMS curricula in other low-income and middle-income countries. GlombNW, KosokoAA, DoughtyCB, RusMC, ShahMI, CoxM, GalapiC, ParkesPS, KumarS, LabaB. Needs assessment for simulation training for prehospital providers in Botswana. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):621-626.

Keywords: BLS Basic Life Support; EM Emergency Medicine; EMS Emergency Medical Services; EMT emergency medical technician; ISO International Organization for Standardization; MOHW Ministry of Health and Wellness; RTA road traffic accident; Botswana; EMS; prehospital; simulation; training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Botswana
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Simulation Training*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires