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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluating a Novel Simulation Course for Prehospital Provider Resuscitation Training in Botswana


Introduction: In 2012, Botswana embarked on an organized public approach to prehospital medicine. One goal of the Ministry of Health (MOH) was to improve provider education regarding patient stabilization and resuscitation. Simulation-based instruction is an effective educational strategy particularly for high-risk, low-frequency events. In collaboration with partners in the United States, the team created a short, simulation-based course to teach and update prehospital providers on common field responses in this resource-limited setting. The objective of this study was to evaluate an educational program for Botswanan prehospital providers via written and simulation-based examinations.

Methods: We developed a two-day course based on a formal needs assessment and MOH leadership input. The subject matter of the simulation scenarios represented common calls to the prehospital system in Botswana. Didactic lectures and facilitated skills training were conducted by U.S. practitioners who also served as instructors for a rapid-cycle, deliberate practice simulation education model and simulation-based testing scenarios. Three courses, held in three cities in Botswana, were offered to off-duty MOH prehospital providers, and the participants were evaluated using written multiple-choice tests, videotaped traditional simulation scenarios, and self-efficacy surveys.

Results: Collectively, 31 prehospital providers participated in the three courses. The mean scores on the written pretest were 67% (standard deviation [SD], 10) and 85% (SD, 7) on the post-test (p < 0.001). The mean scores for the simulation were 42% (SD, 14.2) on the pretest and 75% (SD, 11.3) on the post-test (p < 0.001). Moreover, the intraclass correlation coefficient scores between reviewers were highly correlated at 0.64 for single measures and 0.78 for average measures (p < 0.001 for both). Twenty-one participants (68%) considered the course “extremely useful.”

Conclusion: Botswanan prehospital providers who participated in this course significantly improved in both written and simulation-based performance testing. General feedback from the participants indicated that the simulation scenarios were the most useful and enjoyable aspects of the course. These results suggest that this curriculum can be a useful educational tool for teaching and reinforcing prehospital care concepts in Botswana and may be adapted for use in other resource-limited settings. [West J Emerg Med. 2019;20(5)XX-XX.]

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