Bridging the Gap: Using Interspecialty High-Fidelity Simulation to Improve Skills in Adolescent Emergency Medicine

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2020 Jun 12. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002145. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Adolescents are attending emergency departments (EDs) in increasing numbers, accounting for 21% attendances in the United Kingdom. A recent report by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People highlighted deficiencies in the support offered by EDs to adolescents.

Aim: The aim of this study was to develop a high-fidelity simulation-based course focused on managing common adolescent presentations to the ED.

Methodology: A 1-day mixed-modality course comprising of simulations, lectures, and skill stations, mapped to the pediatric and emergency medicine curriculum, was designed. The faculty developed and delivered 8 high-fidelity simulations. Precourse and immediate postcourse questionnaires were used to assess confidence levels and gain qualitative data. Delayed feedback was collected at 3 months.

Results: There were 36 participants; 86% (n = 31) completed the precourse feedback, 96% (n = 34) completed the postcourse feedback, and 47% (n = 17) completed the delayed feedback. There was a statistically significant increase in self-reported confidence across all domains with a median increase of 21.25% immediately, sustained at 20% on delayed 3-month feedback. Qualitative feedback noted a change in practice, "I used (the knowledge) regularly while working in children's A + E."

Conclusions: This was a feasible, high-fidelity simulation-based study day covering the key components of adolescent medicine. The sustained increase in confidence at 3 months and the positive qualitative and quantitative feedback are supportive of the use of simulation to improve adolescent emergency care.