Background Dental Practitioners are required to be competent in Basic Life Support and have the requisite knowledge and skills to manage common medical emergencies (GDC 2002) (Balmer and Longman 2012).
Studies have shown that utilising simulation in training can have a positive effect on the learner’s self-confidence and effectiveness allowing them to practice skills and enact scenarios in a safe, structured and supervised environment (Aggarwal et al, 2010).
In September 2013, 16 dental students attended a District General Hospital to undertake a Human Disease elective. It was not always possible to observe medical emergencies in the week allocated to them. In order to meet the objectives specified by the Dental School, the students partcipated in a series of simulated exercises utilising an ALS and 3G (TM) manikins represent to represent the emergencies they may encounter in practice.
Methodology The scenarios were based in a mock ward/dental surgery to simulate the environment in which the dentists would work.
The following scenarios were undertaken:
Retained throat swab/Laryngospasm
Communication with a simualted patient unhappy with treatment
Cardiac arrest (BLS)
Each student "led" a scenario supported by peers. A debrief at the end of each scenario allowed for reflection and analysis - placing the scenario in context to dental practice.
A questionnaire allowed for qualitative aspects of feedback and quantitative perception on the effectiveness of the day as expressed by a 5-point Likert scale.
Outcomes 16 students participated in the evaluation. 100% felt that the study day had relevance to their work/training and gave them a better understanding of how to deal with medical emergencies.
Conclusion The simulated medical emergency training was highly rated as an overall learning experience allowing students to gain an understanding of how to deal with common medical emergencies in a supportive environment conducive to building on prior knowledge. (Davies at al 2009).
Aggarwal R, Mytton OM, MacAulay C, Ziv A, Reznick R. Training for Patient Safety Quality and Safety in Healthcare 2010;19:34–43
Balmer MC, Longman LP. The Management of Medical Emergencies. The Role of the Dental Care Professional. Clinical Handbook of Dental and Hygiene Therapy; 2012. Oxford; Wiley-Blackwell
Davies BR, Leung AN. Perceptions of a simulated general dental practice facility-reported experiences from past students at the Maurice Wohl General Dental Practice Centre 2001-2008. British Dental Journal 2009;207:371–376
General Dental Council (2002) The First Five Years: A Framework for Undergraduate Dental Education"
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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