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Mix of online and live training, in-course skills assessment add value to resuscitation

When your institution offers resuscitation education, is it instructor-led? Online? Or a combination of the two, where an in-class instructor offers coursework and assesses skills using a feedback manikin in tandem with, or following completion of, an online course?

“For most healthcare systems it’s a combination of the two, and that is what the American Red Cross has in mind when it evaluates, designs, or updates its resuscitation course,” says, Dr. David Markenson, Chief Medical Officer for the American Red Cross Training Services and Medical Director at the New York Medical College Center for Disease Medicine, which he co-founded in 2005.

“We have our Scientific Advisory Council, and we also have an Innovation Council made up of thought leaders from EMS, healthcare, major systems, small systems, leaders in innovation and disruption to guide us on what we can do best in the education space,” says Dr. Markenson, who also is a pediatric emergency medicine and pediatric critical care physician, as well as being internationally recognized as a pioneer and leader in disaster medicine, health system preparedness and education, public health preparedness, and operational medicine. (He also refers to himself as a “recovering paramedic.”)

“As the generation of learners changes and healthcare models and time constraints change, we're seeing a movement from fully instructor-led to blended, with the most common form of blended being online cognitive, some scenarios with some early integration, and then in-person step psychomotor learning, integration, and then evaluation,” he says. “There also are segments moving to feedback mannequins for parts of training that are instructor-led and are more flexible to student time.”

“As part of the American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite, we give all the options because we want educators to have flexibility to adapt to their needs,” he continues. “And also, so they can target different learners, the way they learn and their needs. We also want [training] to be available anywhere the student is—laptop, workstation, phone, iPad. As learners are changing over time, the places they wish to learn and the devices they wish to learn on are also changing. We need to adapt to that and make sure we are responsive to them.”

Review courses also still hold strong appeal

Dr. Markenson also reports that review courses, or challenge programs, shortened courses for experienced learners where key concepts are refreshed and then evaluated, also continue to be desired in the field.

“We hear that we need short courses that are at the highest varying level of providers,” he says. “Within the Red Cross, our Pediatric Advanced Life Support program has a pre-assessment in each cognitive section, and that pre-assessment now provides feedback to the students on their level of knowledge. If they met our objectives for cognitive knowledge, they can go right to the integration piece within each of those topics and not have to go through the basic cognitive learning.”

In other words, students can test out—or opt to stay in for a review even if they think they are well versed on the material.

“I may be someone who already knows it but still wants to review it in depth, so it asks you, would you like to or not? Everyone, whether you're advanced or not, still does the integration scenario at the end because we think the key concepts of putting it together, the integration, is an important review for everyone.”

Learn more about the American Red Cross Resuscitation Suite ™ for BLS, ALS and PALS.

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