Paediatric resuscitation training--do medical students believe it should be a mandatory component of the curriculum?
ABSTRACT Resuscitation outcomes are related to care delivered by 'first responders', even for hospitalized patients. Third year medical students (clinical clerks) at McGill University are trained and certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for critically ill adult patients, but receive only minimal instruction, in the form of a brief introductory lecture, on paediatric life support.
We developed an interactive, case-based 4-h Paediatric Resuscitation Course based on the objectives and teaching methods of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course. Objectives were tailored to an appropriate level for medical students through the consensus of the two content-expert authors and two external expert physician-educators. Students completed equivalent pre and post course multiple-choice exams, using questions selected from the PALS course. In order to minimize 'guessing', subjects were penalized for incorrect answers. Upon completion of the course, students were anonymously surveyed on the perceived educational value of the resuscitation course.
49 subjects voluntarily participated, in groups of 6-8 at a time, with 47 subjects completing the study protocol. Students' test scores significantly increased from the pre to post test (12.65/22 vs. 17.70/22; p < 0.001). All students believed the course was delivered at an appropriate level for them, that it was a worthwhile use of their time, and that it should be a mandatory course in their clinical clerkship.
Medical students can learn from appropriately designed paediatric resuscitation courses and believe it should be mandatory in their training.