Decision-making skills improve with critical care training: Using simulation to measure progress

David J. Murray, Walter A. Boyle, Mary Beth Beyatte, Justin G. Knittel, Paul W. Kerby, Julie Woodhouse, John R. Boulet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Health care professionals are expected to acquire decision-making skills during their training, but few methods are available to assess progress in acquiring these essential skills. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a simulation methodology could be used to assess whether decision-making skills improve during critical care training. Materials and methods: Sixteen simulated scenarios were designed to assess a critical care provider's ability to make decisions in the care of a critical ill patient. Seventeen (17) critical care providers managed 8 of the scenarios early during their training and then managed a second set of 8 scenarios (T2) at the conclusion of their training. Results: Provider's mean global scenario scores (0–9) increased significantly fromT1 and T2 (5.64 ± 0.74) and (6.54 ± 0.64) with a large effect size (1.3). Acute care nurse practitioners and fellows achieved similar overall scores at the conclusion of their training (ACNP 6.43 ± 0.57; Fellows 6.64 ± 0.72). Conclusions: These findings provide evidence to support the validity of a simulation-based method to assess progress in decision-making skills. A simulation methodology could be used to establish a performance standard that determined a provider's ability to make independent decisions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Critical Care
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Critical care
  • Diagnostic skills, acute care nurse practitioners
  • Educational measurement
  • Intensive care units
  • Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Decision-making skills improve with critical care training: Using simulation to measure progress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this