The Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (FCCS) course has been endorsed by the prestigious Leapfrog Group for Patient Safety1 and incorporates the use of human simulators to gain hands-on practice and skills needed by health professionals during the first 24 hours of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patient management. This study investigates the effectiveness of the FCCS course on improving residents’ knowledge and self-efficacy in ICU patient care.
The FCCS course is offered at our institution to residents prior to their ICU rotation. Simulation training includes the use of task trainers (CVL placement, airway management, arrhythmia detection, and hands-on ventilator management). The course has been offered twice, and 18 residents have completed instruments for this study. Three educational outcomes were assessed: pre/post knowledge gains (i.e., items assess principles of airway management, hemodynamic monitoring, cardiopulmonary-cerebral resuscitation, etc.), pre/post self-efficacy gains in performing key procedures, and learner perceptions about the course (post).
Descriptive statistics for knowledge, self-efficacy, and course evaluations are shown in Table 1. A paired-sample t test showed a significant increase in learners’ knowledge scores at post test [t (17) = -4.0, p <.01]. There was a strong effect size for knowledge score gains (d = .85). Self-efficacy items showed significant improvement (p <.001), and a strong effect size (d = 1.13). Participants rated the course highly.
Although the FCCS course is widely believed to be a useful mechanism for educating health professionals in ICU critical care and ultimately for improving patient safety, little data exists in mainstream literature on this topic. Results of this study suggest the effectiveness of the FCCS course for preparing resident physicians for the ICU experience. Future work is needed to connect these results to actual patient care.