The resuscitation knowledge and skills of intern doctors working in the Department of Anaesthesiology at the Bloemfontein Academic Hospital Complex
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BACKGROUND: Intern doctors are often regarded as first responders to attend to patients in emergency situations. But the fact is that many Intern doctors are not equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It was also noted that Intern doctors might not be aware of gaps in their resuscitation knowledge and skills. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study is to determine the theoretical knowledge and practical skill on resuscitation of Intern doctors working in the Department of Anaesthesiology at the Bloemfontein Academic Hospital Complex. Their resuscitation knowledge will be tested based on the 2010 American Heart Association’s guidelines for Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Paediatric Advance Life Support (PALS). We will determine the Intern doctors’ knowledge and skills on resuscitation during the first and again during the last week of their rotation in the Department of Anaesthesiology. METHOD: After approval from the Research Division of the Ethics Committee of the University of the Free State, 26 Intern doctors were enrolled in the study. They completed a demographic questionnaire, written a multiple choice test, and performed a skills evaluation in a simulation centre; to assess their adequacy of performing effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Follow-up evaluation was done at the end of their two-month rotation in the Department of Anaesthesia RESULTS: The average result for the pre-rotation written test was 58.4% (14.6/25), while they scored unsatisfactory in the practical skills assessment. The biggest problem areas identified were the quality of chest compressions, and the use of a defibrillator. There was no improvement with the follow-up evaluation at the end of their two-month rotation. The resuscitation knowledge and skills of the Intern doctors were rated as unsatisfactory. CONCLUSION: The following conclusions can be drawn from the study: 1. Intern doctors are not equipped to provide adequate cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 2. The undergraduate resuscitation training programs that are currently in place are not adequate to equip Intern doctor with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide adequate cardiopulmonary resuscitation; or the knowledge and skills obtained, are not retained.3. Active advanced life support training programs should be initiated to help provide Interns with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide adequate cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 4. Current resuscitation training programs need to be seriously re-evaluated, and aimed at improving Interns knowledge and skills.