Learning to save lives


The first 4 minutes

When a patient loses consciousness the first 4 minutes are critical for saving their life. The first responder must carry out assessments and interventions whilst raising the alarm and managing other responders, before handing the patient over.  Generally, medical professionals get 2 opportunities to practice the important steps in the first 4 minutes of a resuscitation - in sessions at the hospital where they work, or when they have someone in front of them.


The Resuscitation officer

Typically a Resuscitation officer in a hospital trains and supports staff to prepare for these kinds of situations.  They attend cardiac arrests, manage staff, and work to improve the chances for anyone who has a medical emergency whilst in hospital. Resuscitation training is offered on a regular basis to staff across the hospital for a half or full-day session.  Staff in training need to be replaced on the rosters, which can involve locums or temporary/agency staff. They may also need to travel, which can add significantly to the time involved. If they are sick or unable to attend, it can be a long time before a slot is available again to attend the training. 


Not enough hours in the day

Amanda Kerr is the resuscitation officer at a large New Zealand hospital. She spends the majority of her time in training sessions, with groups of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. When not in sessions, Amanda is administering courses and recording assessments as well as keeping up to date with changes in policy or equipment.  It's a big job with a lot of responsibility. 

Medical training, in general, is well-supported with learning resources from established global publishers.  The problem is that these resources are often textbook-based and may not be exactly relevant for her particular situation or location.  

Amanda hadn't really considered traditional eLearning as a viable solution to the problem of reducing the amount of time required to deliver good training. As with many organizations, the process of getting eLearning created, delivered, and maintained can be onerous.  Sometimes it's just easier to do it all face to face, adjust the learning for the people who are there rather than attempting to systemize that process. 

Scenario-based eLearning

Having seen other healthcare modules Amanda realized that scenario-based eLearning could be a great solution to giving learners a way to practice without her being there.  Having scenarios that were relevant to the learners, filmed in the hospital they worked from, with the staff they recognize and equipment they are familiar with would make it all a bit more real.  Practicing at a time that suits them, in short, and digestible learning experiences that can challenge decision-making and remind them of what they don't know.


Planning good modules

A really important part of scenario-based learning is solid planning. Amanda designed a branching scenario that explained to the learners what can happen when you make the wrong decision and when you got it right. A focus was breaking down the first 4 minutes into its component parts, walking through the scenario, and highlighting the important things to be aware of and to remember.  As with Amanda's live sessions, this is followed by watching the whole thing play out and getting a good experience of what the first 4 minutes can feel like, followed by the handover. 

 Blended production


Sometimes a 360 video is the best solution for making a learner feel like they're there, sometimes simple mobile phone footage is fine. Amanda used a range of camera types to see what worked best, 360 is the easiest to film, mobile phone footage the easiest to process and replace. Head-mounted Go Pro footage was used for the close-to-bed scenes which work really well. 

 Out in the wild


The next stage is to publish the course to the Learning Management System and start tracking learners. 




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