Advanced Cardiac Life Support Training in Interprofessional Teams of Undergraduate Nursing and Medical Students Using Mannequin-Based Simulation

Abstract

We developed an interprofessional advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) course for final-year undergraduate nursing and medical students, aiming to increase technical resuscitation and non-technical teamwork skills. We studied the effects of the course using mixed methods, comprising the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS), a questionnaire, and focus groups. Over eight full days, 188 students participated—comprising 59 nursing and 129 medical students (representing 69 and 68% of the total year’s cohorts, respectively). Overall RIPLS scores increased pre- to post-course by 2.13 points (from 76.41 to 78.54, p < 0.001)—being largely due to medical students’ scores (increasing by 2.50 points, p < 0.001). The study questionnaire showed agreement or strong agreement that non-technical course objectives had been achieved, and the analysis of focus group transcripts identified five themes involving communication, teamwork, leadership, value and realism, and professional roles. Both student groups reported specific insights into the skills and roles of each other. Nursing students were identified by medical students as better at drawing up drugs, setting up intravenous drips, and keeping records. Nursing students identified medical students as better at diagnosis, patient care planning, and intervention tasks such as needle insertion during pneumothorax. Both groups reported that such insights would not have occurred during uniprofessional simulation, felt that the course better prepared them for work in the clinical context, and agreed that more undergraduate interprofessional teaching using simulation should occur. Our results were instrumental in the adoption of the interprofessional ACLS course as a permanent part of our university’s undergraduate curriculum.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the following people from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, for their support and assistance: Warwick Bagg, Head of the Medical Programme; Abbey Gundesen and Brenda Knowles from the Simulation Centre for Patient Safety; Heather Baker, Dianne Marshall, Deborah Somerville, Michelle Adams, and Michael Crossan from the School of Nursing; and Tim Skinner, Simon Mitchell, and Jonathon Webber from the Department of Anaesthesiology. Thank you also to Carmen Skilton (CS) for conducting the independent check of our data by re-coding a subset of focus group transcripts, and to Tanisha Jowsey for assistance with the qualitative analysis.

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Correspondence to Craig S. Webster.

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This study was approved by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (reference 9073). All participants gave written informed consent.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Webster, C.S., Hallett, C., Torrie, J. et al. Advanced Cardiac Life Support Training in Interprofessional Teams of Undergraduate Nursing and Medical Students Using Mannequin-Based Simulation. Med.Sci.Educ. 28, 155–163 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-017-0523-0

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Keywords

  • Undergraduate education
  • Interprofessional learning
  • Life support training
  • Simulation
  • Nursing and medical students
  • Mixed-methods evidence