There is a broad evidence base to support advanced life support (ALS) education for healthcare professionals being structured, realistic and inclusive of a range of human factors. This paper outlines a curriculum for ALS resuscitation education for providers working in the pre-hospital or resource-limited settings. The focus on pre-hospital ALS education is important because actions taken by pre-hospital healthcare professionals have a critical impact on the likelihood of patient survival.
The pre-hospital ALS curriculum developed in this research was derived from a survey and interviews with pre-hospital healthcare professionals and first responders, and input from resuscitation, medical and education experts. Following completion of the interviews an expert panel of resuscitation experts was consulted.
Information collected indicated that a pre-hospital ALS course should follow current recommendations of the Australian Resuscitation Council and that the course should be delivered in a mixed mode comprising of online pre-reading and a quiz followed by one day of face-to-face teaching. Equipment should reflect that used in the pre-hospital environment and a pre-hospital ALS course should include scenarios relevant to the pre-hospital setting involving varying numbers of interprofessional healthcare teams as well as first responders and lay persons. Candidates should be assessed on a continual basis and certificates of participation be valid for 2 to 3 years.
To improve pre-hospital resuscitation education and maximise the likelihood of patient survival, ALS education for pre-hospital providers should follow Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines, include pre-course reading, case studies and practical simulation in situations that are likely to be encountered by pre-hospital professionals.
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