Interprofessional Simulation in Cardiothoracic Surgery Improves Team Confidence

Helen Mari Merritt-Genore, Austin Adams, Ryan Zavala, Tara Brakke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interest in simulation has grown substantially, as has enthusiasm for team-based approaches to surgical training. In cardiothoracic surgery, the dynamic ability of the entire team is critical to emergent events. We developed innovative, interprofessional simulation events to improve team confidence. Two separate simulations event replicating critical steps and potential crises of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) were attended by members of the multidisciplinary cardiothoracic team. Standard CPB equipment, echocardiography, an app to control vital signs, and typical operating room tools for cannulation were all used. Participant started at their typical roles, then rotated into unfamiliar roles for subsequent simulations. Survey and Likert scale self-assessment tools were used to determine outcomes. Statistical analysis compared results. Two separate events were attended by a total of 37 team members (17 facilitators and 20 participants). Participants rotated roles through 12 routine and high-risk scenarios for instituting and separating from CPB. Participant evaluation results were highly favorable, with requests for further similar events. Objectively, the mean score for self-assessment rose significantly comparing the pre- and post-simulation assessments. Despite a small sample size, these differences did reach statistical significance in two categories: iatrogenic dissection (p 0.008), and emergent return to CPB (p 0.016). In our experience, high-fidelity interprofessional simulation promoted team communication and confidence for key scenarios related to institution of and separation from CPB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Extra-Corporeal Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic dissection
  • CPB
  • Complications
  • Complications.
  • Education
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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