Severe events of respiratory distress can be life threatening. Although rare in some outpatient settings, effective recognition and management are essential to improving outcomes. The value of high-fidelity simulation has not been assessed for sleep technologists (STs). We hypothesized that knowledge of and comfort level in managing emergent pediatric respiratory events would improve with this innovative method.
We designed a course that utilized high-fidelity human patient simulators (HPS) and that focused on rapid pediatric assessment of young children in the first 5 minutes of an emergency. We assessed knowledge of and comfort with critical emergencies that STs may encounter in a pediatric sleep center utilizing a pre/post-test study design.
Ten STs enrolled in the study, and scores from the pre- and posttest were compared utilizing a paired samples t-test. Mean participant age was 42 ± 11 years, with average of 9.3 ± 3.3 years of ST experience but minimal experience in managing an actual emergency. Average pretest score was 54% ± 17% correct and improved to 69% ± 16% after the educational intervention (p < 0.05). Participant ratings indicated the course was a well-received, innovative educational methodology.
A simulation course focusing on respiratory emergencies requiring basic life support skills during the first 5 min of distress can significantly improve the knowledge of STs. Simulation may provide a highly useful methodology for training STs in the management of rare life-threatening events.
Avis KT; Lozano DJ; White ML; Youngblood AQ; Zinkan L; Niebauer JM; Tofil NM. High-fidelity simulation training for sleep technologists in a pediatric sleep disorders center. J Clin Sleep Med 2012;8(1):97-101.