Objective: To assess the impact of a 6-hour pediatric resuscitation curriculum on the comfort levels of resident physicians’ evaluation and treatment of critically ill pediatric patients. Methods: An evaluation instrument assessed resident comfort levels, measured on a seven digit Likert scale ranging from significantly uncomfortable to significantly comfortable, in 13 areas of pediatric resuscitation. To complete the curriculum, residents had to demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and procedural skills during mock resuscitation scenarios and on both written and oral examinations. Results: Thirty-one residents participated in the study: 51.6% were pediatric, 12.9% were medicine/pediatric and 35.5% were emergency medicine residents. Participants in the curriculum had little previous experience with pediatric resuscitation (83% had been involved in five or fewer pediatric resuscitations). In all 13 areas of pediatric resuscitation tested, residents reported improvement in comfort levels following the course (p<0.002; Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests). The most significant changes were observed for the following items: resuscitation of pulseless arrest, performance of cardioversion and defibrillation, performance of intraosseous needle insertion, and drug selection and dosing for rapid sequence intubation. Fewer than 48% of learners rated themselves as comfortable in these areas prior to training, but after completion, more than 80% rated themselves in the comfortable range. All residents but one received passing scores on their written examinations (97%). During the mock resuscitation scenarios and oral examination, 100% of the residents were assessed to have ‘completely’ met the learning objectives and critical actions Conclusion: Implementation of a pediatric resuscitation curriculum improves pediatric and emergency medicine residents’ comfort with the evaluation and treatment of critically ill pediatric patients. This curriculum can be used in residency training to document the acquisition of core competencies, knowledge and procedural skills needed for the evaluation and treatment of the critically ill child. The results reported in this study support using this model of instructional design to implement educational strategies, which will meet the requirements of graduate education
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