Medical and traumatic resuscitation are among the core competencies of emergency medicine. When compared to adult patients, the frequency of high acuity pediatric patients requiring procedures is low. Currently in emergency medicine practice, especially in academic settings, maintaining proficiency in high acuity and low frequency pediatric procedures may be a problem for physicians after completing training.
To determine the comfort level of physicians trained in Emergency Medicine in performing high risk, low frequency pediatric procedures.
A survey was administered to a cohort of graduated physicians after completion of Emergency Medicine or Emergency Medicine/Pediatrics residency programs from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Each physician's perceived competency in several pediatric procedures, including intubations, lumbar punctures, tube thoracostomies, peripheral IVs, central venous catheter placement, and intraosseous needle placements, was measured using a 10-point Likert-type scale.
One hundred eighty-one physicians completed the survey (44.9%) during an eight-week period. Despite the majority of respondents only having performed the aforementioned procedures less than twice in the past year while working in emergency departments that saw less than 25,000 pediatric patients per year, 37.6% reported feeling at least somewhat confident in all of the above procedures.
Perceived competency in certain pediatric procedures among emergency medicine-trained physicians varied depending on training background, years in practice, and number of pediatric visits at their clinical site.