High-Fidelity Simulation Use in Preparation of Physician Assistant Students for Neonatal and Obstetric Care.

Research paper by Kelly K Donkers, Judy J Truscott, Carl C Garrubba, Deborah D DeLong

Indexed on: 29 Apr '16Published on: 29 Apr '16Published in: The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association


The study attempts to determine whether a simulation experience would increase physician assistant (PA) students' comfort level in caring for obstetric patients and assessing a neonate with an Apgar score.First-year PA students who are in the didactic phase of their education were asked to complete a questionnaire before and after a hybrid simulation scenario, in which they aided in estimating cervical dilation, delivering a neonate, and assessing the Apgar score of a neonate. The simulation included high-fidelity simulation for 2 portions of the experience and task-trainer simulation for the remaining portion of the experience. The questionnaire asked students to rate their comfort level before and after the simulation and provide information regarding their clinical experience level with obstetrics, gynecology, or pediatrics.Comfort levels were significantly increased according to presession and postsession scores for each of the 3 portions of the simulation experience. Prior experience level did not affect the results of this group. Results indicate that regardless of experience, there was a statistically significant increase between presession and postsession comfort levels.Simulation training in obstetric and neonatal assessment increases students' comfort level to perform these difficult tasks. Physician assistant programs that are not performing simulation currently, or have not used it to train in these specialty areas should consider doing so as part of their curriculum.