Computerized realistic simulation: a teaching module for crisis management in radiology

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999 Feb;172(2):301-4. doi: 10.2214/ajr.172.2.9930771.


Objective: Computerized realistic simulation technology has been used as a training tool in fields such as aviation and military training and in the nuclear power industry. More recently, it has been adapted for use in anesthesia crisis resource management. We describe the effectiveness of a simulation program like that used by anesthesiology departments that we developed to teach radiologists the principles of crisis management.

Materials and methods: A mock CT scanner and patient simulator were used to simulate the environment in which radiologists encounter crises. Twenty-four residents attended the training program, four at each half-day session. Two responded to and two observed an initial crisis, after which they attended a lecture and watched a videotape review. The second pair then participated in a different crisis scenario. The scenario order was randomized. All scenarios were videotaped and randomly reviewed by two physicians not involved with the course. The following behavioral qualities of the participating residents were evaluated using a five-point scale, ranging from poor (1) to excellent (5): global assessment, communication skills, use of support personnel, use of resources, and role clarity. Residents then rated the course on a five-point scale using the following criteria: overall course usefulness, attainment of course goals, realism of scenarios, quality of lecture, and quality of videotape review.

Results: The trainees who had attended the lecture and watched the videotape review before participating in a scenario consistently scored higher than those who had not in the following areas (score after training/score before training): global assessment, 4.08/2.50; communication skills, 4.09/2.67; use of support personnel, 4.17/3.00; use of resources, 4.00/2.92; and role clarity, 4.17/2.67. Moreover, the participants gave the course the following average ratings: overall usefulness, 4.93; attainment of course goals, 4.78; realism of scenarios, 4.63; quality of lecture, 4.63; and quality of videotape review, 4.85.

Conclusion: Although the critical assessment of a teaching method is difficult and subjective by nature, the improvement in behavioral performance scores suggests that simulation technology effectively conveyed the principles of crisis management. The course ratings show that the program was well accepted by participants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Radiology / education*
  • Teaching / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed