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Using high-fidelity simulation to teach fundamental principles of cardiac catheterisation to pharmacy students


Background Pharmacy students often find the pathophysiology and treatment of comorbid heart conditions challenging to understand. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of a cardiac catheterisation lab simulation on pharmacy students’ knowledge related to cardiology and critical care pharmacotherapy.

Methods Third-year pharmacy students at the University of South Florida completed a high-fidelity cardiac catheterisation simulation. Specific aspects within the activity involved review of clinical parameters and images during catheterisation, identification of access points for catheter insertion, review of the types of stents available and associated pharmacotherapeutic considerations, and discussion of protective measures to prevent radiation exposure. Students completed knowledge-based presimulation and postsimulation assessments regarding these aspects of cardiac catheterisation.

Results All students (n=111, 100%) completed the presimulation and postsimulation assessments. There was an increase in knowledge after the simulation, which was statistically significant in five out of nine questions, P<0.001. Based on course evaluations, students believed this activity enhanced their learning and ability to apply the material due to the close alignment and timing with their acute coronary syndrome lectures and the critical care module in the Pharmacotherapeutics course.

Conclusions Participation in the simulation improved students’ knowledge related to cardiology pharmacotherapy and associated acute procedures.

  • cardiology
  • simulation
  • laboratory
  • cardiac catheterization
  • critical care

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