Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Burn Surgery


Dr. Nancy Reid



INTRODUCTION: Burn care and medical education has undergone dramatic changes with clinical innovations, medical simulation, and curriculum design. Trauma has over seven courses while burns has one, Advanced Burn Life Support. Our goal was to develop a course with an evidence-based curriculum and novel simulators to meet the needs of healthcare professionals that require more advanced training.

METHODS: Following IRB approval, a 360-degree REDCap™ survey was distributed using a 5-point Likert scale with free text to physicians, nurses, therapists, administrators, and survivors. A 360-survey was selected due to the multi-disciplinary aspect of burn injury management and the recognized expertise of non-physicians. The survey assessed participants' perceived proficiency of providers managing adult and pediatric patients and was evaluated by a multi-institutional panel of recognized professionals in medical education and burn care. Procedure simulators were developed following the survey and subsequently validated and published. The course design incorporated adult learning theory with discussion-based sessions separated by hands-on skills labs. An after-course survey of participants was distributed with a 5-point Likert scale and free text to capture how this course filled the aforementioned identified knowledge gaps.

RESULTS: A total of 109 individuals participated in the initial 360-degree knowledge gap survey with a 58% response rate and a diverse response pool: 34% physicians/advanced practice providers (APP), 33% nurses, 23% physical and occupational therapists, and 10% burn survivors, administrators, or social workers. Survey results by burn physicians/APP demonstrated the lowest self-rated proficiency scores at managing large pediatric burn injuries and frostbite while non-physicians reported low proficiency in developing wound treatment algorithms, performing an escharotomy, and aftercare/reintegration. Following a rigorous curriculum development, the course was presented at two southern region and one national burn association scientific meetings. An after-course survey of 40 participants noted that 100% of students agreed the course improved their understanding of managing burn injuries, improved their ability to troubleshoot, improved confidence to manage a patient up to 96 hours, and would recommend the course to a peer. 0% of the participants identified excessive industry bias.

CONCLUSION: Providing quality care beyond the initial assessment and stabilization of a burn-injured patient requires additional skills and knowledge. Providers that are challenged to provide this care may benefit from additional training. Initial data show that a course, such as this one, provides the education necessary to fill the most commonly reported gaps in knowledge and skills. Further work is being invested to develop disaster management skills, assessment components, and further determine course validity.

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