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BMC Med Educ. 2017 Jun 17;17(1):104. doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-0940-1.

Use of simulation-based medical training in Swiss pediatric hospitals: a national survey.

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Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital Lucerne, Spitalstrasse 16, CH-6000, Luzern, Switzerland.
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital, University Hospital Berne, Bern, Switzerland.



Simulation-based medical training (SBMT) is a powerful tool for continuing medical education. In contrast to the Anglo-Saxon medical education community, up until recently, SBMT was scarce in continental Europe's pediatric health care education: In 2009, only 3 Swiss pediatric health care institutions used SBMT. The Swiss catalogue of objectives in Pediatrics does not acknowledge SBMT. The aim of this survey is to describe and analyze the current state of SBMT in Swiss pediatric hospitals and health care departments.


A survey was carried out with medical education representatives of every institution. SBMT was defined as any kind of training with a mannequin excluding national and/or international standardized courses. The survey reference day was May 31st 2015.


Thirty Swiss pediatric hospitals and health care departments answered our survey (response rate 96.8%) with 66.6% (20 out of 30) offering SBMT. Four of the 20 hospitals offering SMBT had two independently operating training simulation units, resulting in 24 educational units as the basis for our SBMT analysis. More than 90% of the educational units offering SBMT (22 out of 24 units) were conducting in-situ training and 62.5% (15 out of 24) were using high-technology mannequins. Technical skills, communication and leadership ranked among the top training priorities. All institutions catered to inter-professional participants. The vast majority conducted training that was neither embedded within a larger educational curriculum (19 out of 24: 79.2%) nor evaluated (16 out of 24: 66.6%) by its participants. Only 5 institutions (20.8%) extended their training to at least two thirds of their hospital staff.


Two thirds of the Swiss pediatric hospitals and health care departments are offering SBMT. Swiss pediatric SBMT is inter-professional, mainly in-situ based, covering technical as well as non-technical skills, and often employing high-technology mannequins. The absence of a systematic approach and reaching only a small number of healthcare employees were identified as shortcomings that need to be addressed.


Crisis resource management; Inter-professional education; Pediatrics; Simulation-based medical training; Team training; Technical skills

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