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Workload of learners during simulated paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation


Introduction Learner workload during simulated team-based resuscitations is not well understood. In this descriptive study, we measured the workload of learners in different team roles during simulated paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Methods Paediatric emergency nurses and paediatric and emergency medicine residents formed teams of four to eight and randomised into roles to participate in simulation-based, paediatric resuscitation. Participant workload was measured using the NASA Task Load Index, which provides an average workload score (from 0 to 100) across six subscores: mental demand, physical demand, temporal demand, performance, frustration and mental effort. Workload is considered low if less than 40, moderate if between 40 and 60 and high if greater than 60.

Results There were 210 participants representing 40 simulation teams. 138 residents (66%) and 72 nurses (34%) participated. Team lead reported the highest workload at 65.2±10.0 (p=0.001), while the airway reported the lowest at 53.9±10.8 (p=0.001); team lead had higher scores for all subscores except physical demand. Team lead reported the highest mental demand (p<0.001), while airway reported the lowest. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation coach and first responder reported the highest physical demands (p<0.001), while team lead and nurse recorder reported the lowest (p<0.001).

Conclusions Workload for learners in paediatric simulated resuscitation teams was moderate to high and varied significantly based on team role. Composition of workload varied significantly by team role. Measuring learner workload during simulated resuscitations allows improved processes and choreography to optimise workload distribution.

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • cognitive load
  • education
  • medical
  • emergency paediatrics
  • simulation

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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