Rapid Dissemination of a COVID-19 Airway Management Simulation Using a Train-the-Trainers Curriculum

Apr 13, 2021 | Peterson

PROBLEM: The most effective way to train clinicians to safely don and doff personal protective equipment (PPE) and perform aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs), such as intubations, is unknown when clinician educators are unavailable as they have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proper PPE and airway management techniques are critical to prevent the transmission of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

APPROACH: In March 2020, the authors implemented a structured train-the-trainers curriculum to teach PPE techniques and a modified airway management algorithm for suspected COVID-19 patients. A single emergency medicine physician trainer taught 17 subsequent emergency medicine and critical care physician trainers the proper PPE and airway management techniques. The initial trainer and 7 of the subsequent trainers then instructed 99 other emergency medicine resident and attending physicians using in situ simulation. Trainers and learners completed retrospective pre-post surveys to assess their comfort teaching the material and performing the techniques, respectively.

OUTCOMES: The surveys demonstrated a significant increase in the trainers’ comfort in teaching simulation-based education, from 4.00 to 4.53 on a 5-point Likert scale (P < .005), and in teaching the airway management techniques through simulation, from 2.47 to 4.47 (P < .001). There was no difference in the change in comfort level between those learners who were taught by the initial trainer and those who were taught by the subsequent trainers. These results suggest that the subsequent trainers were as effective in teaching the simulation material as the initial trainer.

NEXT STEPS: Work is ongoing to investigate clinician- and patient-specific outcomes, including PPE adherence, appropriate AGP performance, complication rate, and learners’ skill retention. Future work will focus on implementing similar train-the-trainers strategies for other health professions, specialties, and high-risk or rare procedures.

PubMed Abstract

Peterson, W. J., Munzer, B. W., Tucker, R. V., Losman, E. D., Harvey, C., Hatton, C., . . . Hsu, C. H. (2021). Rapid Dissemination of a COVID-19 Airway Management Simulation Using a Train-the-Trainers Curriculum. Acad Med. doi:10.1097/acm.0000000000004120