ALMOST REAL: USE OF HIGH FIDELITY SIMULATORS IN ATHLETIC TRAINING EDUCATION
University of South Florida (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Context: On-field care of a spine injured football player in respiratory or cardiac arrest requires teamwork and expediency in the proper removal of equipment to access the airway and the chest for resuscitation. Teaching and evaluating this skill is challenging because the urgent "environment" is difficult to reproduce. Although the students had practiced this procedure many times before with role-playing, the high-fidelity simulator created a very realistic situation where the students were required to assess vital signs and take appropriate action.
Objective: To evaluate students’ performance and confidence in caring for a spine-injured football player in respiratory or cardiac arrest through a realistic simulation.
Background: This simulation utilized a high-fidelity simulator (iStan, METI Corporation) in football equipment lying prone on the “field” in respiratory or cardiac arrest. Students were required to assess the situation and provide life saving measures while maintaining spinal stabilization.
Description: Second year AT students (n= 56) participated in the simulation. Each student completed a self-confidence survey at three different points in the simulation: pre-simulation, post-simulation and post-debriefing. Students were asked to rate their confidence in their ability to perform as part of a team caring for a spine injured athlete and in leading that team. The team was required to assess the downed “athlete” and provide life-saving measures while maintaining spinal stabilization. The groups were debriefed while watching a video of their performance. Pre-simulation confidence in participating as a part of a team in caring for a spine injured athlete was high. 82% rated their confidence as an 8 or better (on a 10 point scale). Confidence in leading the team was lower (50% of the students rated their confidence at 8 or higher). There was no significant difference in overall pre-simulation confidence scores between teams. All students actively participated in the debriefing session that provided an active learning environment to assess their performance and reflect about the experience. The post-debrief confidence levels between teams was significantly different (mean 57.39, sd= 9.578) and decreased across all groups from the post-simulation confidence, presumably because students saw mistakes on the video that were previously not noted. Teams that performed inadequately had lower confidence scores post debrief than those teams who performed well.
Educational Advantage: This simulation provided a safe realistic environment to practice team skills in the care of the spine-injured athlete. Student feedback after the simulation indicated that they were totally immersed in the simulation and had many of the emotional and physiological responses that would be expected in a real situation (i.e., sweaty palms, increased heart rate, etc).
Conclusion: High-fidelity simulators have been minimally used in the field of athletic training. This simulation created a tremendous amount of interest and excitement amongst the students and provided a safe, realistic environment to practice team skills in the care of the spine-injured athlete. Since the initiation of this simulation, numerous requests have been received from athletic training and other healthcare professionals to allow their staff to complete the scenario as part of their emergency training.
Keywords: Simulation, team-based learning, confidence, debriefing.