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Educational impact of a pilot paediatric simulation-based training course in Botswana


Background As emergency medical services (EMS) systems develop globally in resource-limited settings, equipping providers with paediatric training is essential. Low-fidelity simulation-based training is an effective modality for training healthcare workers, though limited data exist on the impact of such training programmes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the paediatric portion of a simulation-based curriculum for prehospital providers in Botswana.

Methods This was a prospective cohort study of EMS providers from more populated regions of Botswana, who attended a 2-day training that included didactic lectures, hands-on skills stations and low-fidelity simulation training. We collected data on participant self-efficacy with paediatric knowledge and skills and performance on both written and simulation-based tests. Self-efficacy and test data were analysed, and qualitative course feedback was summarised.

Results Thirty-one EMS providers participated in the training. Median self-efficacy levels increased for 13/15 (87%) variables queried. The most notable improvements were observed in airway management, newborn resuscitation and weight estimation. Mean written test scores increased by 10.6%, while mean simulation test scores increased by 21.5% (p<0.0001). One hundred per cent of the participants rated the course as extremely useful or very useful.

Discussion/Conclusion We have demonstrated that a low-fidelity simulation-based training course based on a rigorous needs assessment may enhance short-term paediatric knowledge and skills for providers in a developing EMS system in a limited-resource setting. Future studies should focus on studying larger groups of learners in similar settings, especially with respect to the impact of educational programmes like these on real-world patient outcomes.

  • simulation
  • emergency medical services
  • prehospital
  • education
  • Botswana
  • collaboration
  • resource limited
  • resuscitation

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