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Paediatric emergencies: innovative training increases safety

Paediatric simulation training at the Children's Hospital with training dolls and video feedback

(Vienna, 19-10-2015) Simulating emergency situations is an important medical training method for acquiring the skills that are required to deal with them. At MedUni Vienna, Paediatric Simulation Training (PST) is part of the curriculum for every fifth-year medical student completing their tertiary education at the University Department of Paediatrics. Using dolls to simulate infants, prospective doctors are able to practice the procedure for paediatric emergencies.

In emergencies, speed is of the essence and decisions have to be taken quickly. Good communications, teamwork, optimum distribution of resources, competent decision-making and situation awareness are essential elements of the best possible patient care. Medical simulation is an excellent method of reinforcing these skills and thus makes a big contribution to enhancing medical training and increasing patient safety. As an integral part of the modern curriculum at MedUni Vienna, it ensures that aspiring doctors are ideally prepared for emergency situations. In addition, the medical teams at the Children's Hospital have access to scenario and team training courses.

When it's a matter of speed – practice ensures safety

The University Department of Paediatrics at the Medical University of Vienna has a simulation center with a fully equipped resuscitation unit, several low and high-fidelity simulation manikins (premature babies, full-term babies, infants) and a video recording system to ensure realistic training and subsequent feedback. Alongside their training in Basic and Advanced Paediatric Life Support, students are also trained in teamwork, communications, human factors and interpersonal skills. This means that these skills do not have to be learnt on children or babies after the end of their studies.

Four people work together to practice an emergency situation. The signs of the simulation dolls are remotely controlled by a team of instructors. The scenarios, which last for about 10 minutes, are videoed and then discussed using video analysis and structured evaluation (debriefing), with the focus on human factors and resource management as well as handling of the situation and skills.
Accompanying scientific studies are intended to objectively demonstrate the effectiveness of the training. As a founding member of the "Paediatric Simulation Network", the University aims to promote paediatric simulation, training and research within the German-speaking area.

Peer teaching: Voluntary participation in training courses for all students

In order to make this offering available to all students and not only to tertiary students at the Children's Hospital, an innovative project was set up three years ago to make additional courses available on a voluntary basis. These courses are offered to students by students (peer teaching). These practical exercises improve communications and teamwork and help to avoid mistakes in real accident situations so that students are well prepared for their first emergency. This is an additional voluntary practical course with its own certificate (but does not currently count as an elective).


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