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Simulation training in obstetric clerkship improves medical students' examination scores
Date:9/2/2011

nal delivery simulation. The instructor demonstrated a vaginal delivery using a NOELLE birthing simulator, computerized life-size maternal and neonatal mannequins, and then let each student practice at least one simulated delivery.

Participants completed confidence assessment surveys before their assignment and four weeks after training. End-of-rotation examination scores were compared for the simulation and non-simulation groups.

Immediately after the simulation training, more than 52 percent of the students reported they felt confident enough to perform vaginal delivery maneuvers with minimal supervision or independently with assistance from an attending physician. Only 16 percent of students in the lecture-only group were confident they could do the same. By the time the students completed their first three actual deliveries, there was no difference in self-assessed confidence levels between the simulation and non-simulation trained groups.

Simulator-trained students scored significantly higher on their oral and written examinations, even though the number of vaginal deliveries in which both groups participated did not differ.

A growing body of evidence indicates that simulation shortens the learning curve for mastering technical skills and is valuable in measuring how well medical/surgical teams solve problems when confronted with complications.

Simulation can be used to teach medical students and physicians in a safe environment without risk to an actual patient, Dr. Holmstrom said. The ability to realistically recreate high-risk, as well as routine, clinical scenarios through simulation is critical in obstetrics training, because a seemingly normal delivery may rapidly turn complicated, even potentially life threatening.

While high-risk complications like breech delivery, postpartum hemorrhage and shoulder dystocia (baby's shoulder stuck in the birth canal) are relatively uncommon, Dr. Holmstrom said
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Contact: Susanna Martinez Tarokh
smartin1@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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