Core AHA Emergency Cardiovascular Care Educational Concepts
Simplification Course content should be simplified in both the presentation of the content and the breadth of content to facilitate accomplishment of course objectives.1,2
Consistency Course content and skill demonstrations should be presented in a consistent manner. Video-mediated, practice-while-watching instruction is the preferred method for basic psychomotor skill training because it reduces instructor variability that deviates from the intended course agenda.2-5
Contextual Adult learning principles6 should be applied to all ECC courses, with emphasis on creating relevant training scenarios that can be applied practically to the learners’ real-world setting, such as having hospital-based learners practice CPR on a bed instead of the floor.
Hands-on practice Substantial hands-on practice is needed to meet psychomotor and nontechnical/leadership skill performance objectives.2,3,7-9
Practice to mastery Learners should have opportunities for repetitive performance of key skills coupled with rigorous assessment and informative feedback in a controlled setting.10-13 This deliberate practice should be based on clearly defined objectives14-16 and not time spent, to promote student development toward mastery.17-21
Debriefing The provision of feedback and/or debriefing is a critical component of experiential learning.22 Feedback and debriefing after skills practice and simulations allow learners (and groups of learners) the opportunity to reflect on their performance and to receive structured feedback on how to improve their performance in the future.23
Assessment Assessment of learning in resuscitation courses serves to both ensure achievement of competence and provide the benchmarks that students will strive toward. Assessment also provides the basis for student feedback (assessment for learning). Assessment strategies should evaluate competence and promote learning. Learning objectives24 must be clear and measurable and serve as the basis of evaluation.
Course/program evaluation This is an integral component of resuscitation education, with the appraisal of resuscitation courses including learner, individual instructor, course, and program performance.25 Training organizations should use this information to drive the continuous quality improvement process.
AHA indicates American Heart Association; CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and ECC, emergency cardiovascular care.


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