Comparison of Four Methods of Paramedic Continuing Education in the Management of Pediatric Emergencies

Prehospital Emergency Care (Spring 2021) Lammers, Richard L.; Willoughby-Byrwa, Maria J.; Vos, Duncan G.; et al.

A recent study compared the effectiveness of various training methods in the management of pediatric emergencies for paramedics. Participants from five emergency medical services agencies in Michigan were randomized to four education intervention cohorts. Controls used an existing online continuing education course, while three experimental groups received the same material during five one-hour sessions over 2.5 years, using either high-fidelity, simulated case-based training, low-fidelity simulation training, or lecture with a procedural skills lab. There were no differences in baseline skill levels in the four groups. The data show that only participants in the low-fidelity simulation training cohort improved their combined scenario scores. Scores for targeted skills improved in one scenario in the high-fidelity group, two in the low-fidelity group, and one in the lecture/lab group, while there was no improvement in the control group. The authors concluded that two hours of training in pediatric emergencies annually was insufficient to instill significant improvement overall. Costly high-fidelity simulators were not required for teaching pediatric resuscitation skills to paramedics; however, instructive scenarios using low-fidelity mannequins and debriefings appeared to be useful. Content provided by an online refresher course did not result in any performance improvements in simulated, case-based assessments, the researchers report.

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