Effect of Low Dose High Frequency Training on Paramedic Cognitive Skills

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Background: Paramedics in many parts of the US are required to obtain advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) recertification every two years. However, like other healthcare providers, they may experience problems with retention of this knowledge.

Study objectives: This year-long study examined the difference in ACLS cognitive performance, measured by a modified Megacode, between two groups of paramedics: those who practiced for 10 minutes monthly over 10 months using brief computer-based ACLS scenarios, and those who did not refresh.

Methods: Participants were randomised into the experimental group using computer gaming for a minimum of 10 minutes a month, and a control group that did not. In month 12, all participants took a post-test Megacode.

Results: 27 (79%) of the experimental and 18 (95%) of the control group successfully completed the pre-test Megacode. 38 (72%) of all participants passed both the pre- and post-test Megacodes; three (6%) failed both Megacodes, five (9%) of the experimental group who failed the pretest passed the post-test at month 12. Four participants in the experimental group and three in the control group failed the post-test at month 12.

Conclusions: paramedics recalled ACLS algorithms with or without practice.

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