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Evaluating the S.T.A.B.L.E. Difference in Educational Outcomes

April 5, 2023
April 5, 2023

This blog was taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Evaluating the S.T.A.B.L.E. Difference in Educational Outcomes.” The webinar was moderated by HealthStream’s Chris McElvogue, BSN, RN, CHSE, Director of Product Management, Clinical Programs and featured:

  • Allison Judkins, MD – University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City
  • Tara DuPont, MD – University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

The webinar addressed strategies to prepare perinatal providers for neonatal stabilization. Today’s presenters studied the impact of the S.T.A.B.L.E training program in post-resuscitation neonatal management and the results were clear.

Pediatrics and NICU Rotations – Why S.T.A.B.L.E. Matters

Dr. Judkins began by sharing some recent changes to the requirements for a pediatric residency. A pediatric residency is three years long and the content is established by the American Board of Pediatrics. During the three-year residency, residents will rotate through a variety of fields including adolescent medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, inpatient and outpatient clinics, and emergency medicine among others. A person may become a board-certified pediatrician upon successful completion of the American Board of Pediatrics written exam.

Neonatology is a unique specialty within pediatrics. The degree of exposure that a pediatric resident might get to neonatology can vary significantly depending on the acuity of the unit, the patient population and the medical care team at the time of their rotation. In addition, residents are now spending less time in the NICU, but are still required to attain the same amount of knowledge. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is proposing to reduce the time residents spend in the NICU to just one month creating an even greater need for a program such as S.T.A.B.L.E. This proposal will leave hospital systems to decide how to best prepare residents to care for critically ill neonates.


What is S.T.A.B.L.E?

S.T.A.B.L.E. is one of the most widely-implemented neonatal education programs. S.T.A.B.L.E. is an acronym that stands for:

  • Sugar/Safe Care
  • Temperature
  • Airway
  • Blood Pressure
  • Lab Work
  • Emotional Support

The program is used in more than 40 countries and has educated 720,000 learners. The course is self-paced and can be completed entirely online in as little as 5.5 to 6 hours. The online program means that residents and other students will experience less variability in the content or the delivery of the message which helps ensure the integrity of the information that is provided and builds a platform of common knowledge for the entire team.


Does S.T.A.B.L.E. Really Work?

Dr. Judkins and Dr. DuPont believed that residents who completed S.T.A.B.L.E. training would likely score better on post S.T.A.B.L.E. tests than those who had not completed the program. They also believed that the residents who had completed the program would feel more confident in their skills than those who had not.

In order to evaluate their theory, they randomized a group of first year residents into two groups – one group that would complete the S.T.A.B.L.E. program and a control group that would not.

The end result was that residents who had completed the S.T.A.B.L.E. program scored higher than the control group on the S.T.A.B.L.E. post-test evaluation. In addition, they also reported statistically-significantly higher levels of confidence in their post-resuscitation stabilization skills than their counterparts in the control group. There was very little difference in pre and post test scores for the control group. As a result, Dr. Judkins and Dr. DuPont recommended implementing S.T.A.B.L.E. into the rotating pediatric resident curriculum.

In addition, Dr. DuPont pointed out that residents reported appreciating the self-pacing aspect of S.T.A.B.L.E. and being able to do it on their own time and at their own pace.

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