Skill fade in military medical training : a literature review of supraglottic airway use in the prehospital environment (2020)
Type of ContentJournal Article
AuthorsMaddocks Wshow all
Background: Skill fade is a potential issue in any military medical training environment. Within the current New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) medic training programme, emergency skills are taught and practised in a simulated environment but are rarely used in real-life situations. As there is infrequent exposure to emergency situations during training, there is a potential for skill fade to occur with some emergency techniques. One such technique is the use of supraglottic airway devices (SADs) as used in the prehospital emergency environment from both a military and civilian context. However, an optimum training interval has not been clearly defined for this skill within a military medic context. Purpose: This literature review explores the issue of skill fade, in particular with prehospital emergency airway management using SADs. This review can guide the framework for an evaluative study, which could be conducted in a military medic training context to help determine the extent of skill fade and how it could be mitigated through manipulation of training intervals. Material and methods: Literature was reviewed from military and civilian prehospital contexts to identify key extant studies in the use of SADs. The review has been placed in a wider context of skill fade within emergency care training in general as well as recognising the unique military contexts in which prehospital emergency care is provided. Discussion: Several studies identified that the rate of skill fade within emergency care is consistent across several medical disciplines, with skill fade occurring from around eight weeks and peak decline at six months. Different instructional methods do not seem to reduce skill fade when used in isolation, suggesting a mixed method approach is needed with regular retesting to ensure competency in the use of SADs. The review did not identify any research that specifically explored the issue of skill fade within NZDF medic training; however, the information provided would assist further research in this area.
CitationMaddocks W (2020). Skill fade in military medical training: a literature review of supraglottic airway use in the prehospital environment. Journal of Military and Veterans' Health. Volume 28 Number 3, July 2020, p. 34-41
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