Using Simulation Training to Reduce Skill Decay Among Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

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Journal of continuing education in nursing


BACKGROUND: Skill decay refers to the loss of skills and knowledge resulting from lack of consistent use. Among certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), skill decay can lead to negative results. One method that has been shown to mitigate skill decay is low-dose, high-frequency (LDHF) simulation. There is a gap in the LDHF simulation literature regarding CRNAs to determine its effectiveness in reducing skill decay or increasing confidence levels.

METHOD: This study used a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest follow-up design. The pretests and posttests were evaluated using a Wilcoxon signed rank test to determine CRNAs' proficiency and confidence in central venous catheter (CVC) insertion before and after a simulated refresher training course.

RESULTS: The CRNAs showed a significant improvement in CVC insertion proficiency, from a 50% pretest average to a 94% posttest average (p < .0001), and they retained proficiency 6 months later (91%, p = .0109). There was no significant change in CRNAs' confidence level following the training (p = .4486).

CONCLUSION: A program of LDHF simulation training is an important activity in meeting the continuing education/training needs of CRNAs in improving and retaining CVC insertion proficiency. This study demonstrates the efficacy of a LDHF simulation program for CRNAs and helps to bridge the gap in the literature on the use of LDHF simulation among CRNAs.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Nurse Anesthetists; Simulation Training; Clinical Competence; Education, Continuing

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