Owning the Trauma Bay: Teaching Trauma Resuscitation to Emergency Medicine Residents and Nurses through In-situ Simulation
The following two cases were designed to address learning objectives specific to interns, junior residents, and senior residents in emergency medicine, as well as trauma-certified emergency nurses.
Traumatic and unintentional injuries account for 5.8 million deaths across the globe each year, with a high proportion of those deaths occurring within the initial hour from the time of injury. This “golden hour” begins in the pre-hospital setting yet is predominantly spent in the emergency department (ED).1 Being able to effectively manage the multidisciplinary team required to care for trauma patients is crucial to providing timely and appropriate care. In-situ simulation, where the learning case is moved out of the simulation lab and into the typical workplace, has emerged as a powerful training tool for improving care-systems and team dynamics.2,3 Multiple specialties have shown in-situ simulation to be an effective strategy to teach both educational content as well as critical procedural and communication skills.4,5 In-situ simulation training has also been applied with similar success to trauma management, allowing for the simultaneous education of different learners with different roles in trauma resuscitations.6,7 We present two in-situ simulation cases with specific educational objectives and feedback mechanisms that allow for easy implementation of a cost-effective approach to training multidisciplinary emergency medicine providers in trauma management.
The core objectives of these simulations center on effective teamwork and communication during trauma resuscitation of a critically ill patient. Both cases are designed to include maneuvers that require coordinating team members’ actions during a stressful situation such as rolling a vomiting patient with a head injury and applying a binder to an unstable pelvic fracture. While the cases are largely focused on improving communication, salient learning points on emergent management of intracranial hemorrhage and unstable pelvic fractures are highlighted during the encounter. In addition, this simulation module allowed for the practice of graduated level of responsibilities amongst residents in the trauma bay.
Two in-situ simulation cases were run with the same group of learners using standardized patient actors as patients and functional medical equipment in actual rooms in the emergency department to recreate a realistic experience. These groups were composed of emergency medicine residents with at least one intern, one junior resident, and one senior resident in each group as well as a bedside nurse, documenting nurse, and simulation instructor. Each case was followed by a group debriefing session using multiple sources of feedback. Standardized patients, bedside nursing, and simulation instructors were all incorporated into the feedback and debriefing process.
Pre- and post-simulation surveys were given to participants to assess their confidence in participating and leading trauma resuscitations.
A total of 29 emergency medicine residents completed both our pre- and post-survey. We found that less than half of those surveyed felt comfortable leading trauma resuscitations. After the simulation scenarios, an overwhelming majority agreed that they felt more prepared to run trauma resuscitations as a result of the simulation experience. In their free response comments participants also remarked upon the ability of in-situ simulation to better foster realistic learning opportunities with regards to communication and resuscitation management.
Based on our survey results, we found that a large portion of our participants did not feel comfortable leading trauma resuscitations. The post-survey and the free-text responses collected during the case scenarios show thatour in-situ simulation proved to be an effective way to teach various types of learners new trauma roles and optimize high-stress communication during resuscitations. The use of in-situ simulation provides an effective and easily adapted framework even for those outside of academic centers and simulation labs while also offering an opportunity for multidisciplinary growth. Regular incorporation of similar learning opportunities into resident, nursing, and staff education can lead to better communication and teamwork during in-vivo patient encounters.
Trauma resuscitation, in-situ simulation, code leader education, communication training.