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Evolution of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support course: Enhanced learning with a new debriefing tool and Web-based module for Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructors*

Cheng, Adam MD, FRCPC; Rodgers, David L. EdD; van der Jagt, Élise MD, MPH; Eppich, Walter MD, MEd; O’Donnell, John CRNA, MSN, DrPH

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: September 2012 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p 589–595
doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3182417709
Review Article

Objective: To describe the history of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support course and outline the new developments in instructor training that will impact the way debriefing is conducted during Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses.

Outline: The Pediatric Advanced Life Support course, first released by the American Heart Association in 1988, has seen substantial growth and change over the past few decades. Over that time, Pediatric Advanced Life Support has become the standard for resuscitation training for pediatric healthcare providers in North America. The incorporation of high-fidelity simulation-based learning into the most recent version of Pediatric Advanced Life Support has helped to enhance the realism of scenarios and cases, but has also placed more emphasis on the importance of post scenario debriefing. We developed two new resources: an online debriefing module designed to introduce a new model of debriefing and a debriefing tool for real-time use during Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses, to enhance and standardize the quality of debriefing by Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructors. In this article, we review the history of Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructor training and discuss the development and implementation of the new debriefing module and debriefing tool for Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructors.

Conclusion: The incorporation of the debriefing module and debriefing tool into the 2011 Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructor materials will help both new and existing Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructors develop and enhance their debriefing skills with the intention of improving the acquisition of knowledge and skills for Pediatric Advanced Life Support students.

From the University of Calgary (AC), KidSim-ASPIRE Research Program, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; the Center for Simulation, Advanced Education and Innovation (DLR), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Pediatrics and Critical Care (EvdJ), Golisano Children’s Hospital, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY; Northwestern University School of Medicine (WE), Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL; and the Department of Acute/Tertiary Care (JO), University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, The Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research, Pittsburgh, PA.

*See also p. 605.

Dr. Cheng received a educational research grant from the American Heart Association for research in scripted debriefing. Dr. van der Jagt was a volunteer for the American Heart Association, Pediatric Subcommittee, and the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee for a tool developed during Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructor manual development. The American Heart Association sells Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructional materials. The remaining authors have not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

For information regarding this article, E-mail: adam.cheng@utoronto.ca

©2012The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies