The effect of simulation training on PALS skills among family medicine residents

James M. Gerard, Scott M. Thomas, Kevin W. Germino, Megan H. Street, Wesley Burch, Anthony J. Scalzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that family medicine residents receive structured skills training on pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and should learn procedures for medical emergencies in patients of all ages. Traditional methods of training family medicine residents in PALS is challenging given their limited clinical exposure to critically ill patients. The primary objective of this study was to assess the effect of a 2-hour PALS training session utilizing high-fidelity mannequins on residents' psychomotor skills performances. METHODS: Between February and June 2009, residents from two urban family medicine residency programs received training on four PALS procedures (bag-mask ventilation, tracheal intubation, intraosseous line placement, and cardiac rhythm assessment/defibrillation) at a university simulation center. Residents completed questionnaires to provide data on previous resuscitation training and experience. We collected self-confidence data and video recordings of residents performing the procedures before and after training. To assess retention at 6 months, we collected self-confidence data and video recordings of PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents performing the procedures. A blinded reviewer scored the video recordings. RESULTS: Forty-seven residents completed the study. The majority of residents (53.2%) had never performed any of the procedures on a real patient. Immediately following skills training, mean overall performance improved from 39.5% (± 11.5%) to 76.5% (± 10.4%), difference 37.0% (95% CI, 33.5%-40.6%). Bag-mask ventilation and intraosseous insertion skills remained above baseline at 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Simulation training is beneficial for teaching PALS procedures to family medicine residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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