Nursing's Retention of Trauma Resuscitative Skills


Name: Dennis Driscoll

Rank: COL, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: 67th Combat Support Hospital & 212th Mobile Army Medical Surgical Hospital

Year Published: 2001

Abstract Status: Final


The purpose of this research was to evaluate the ability of nursing staff to perform resuscitative actions for traumatic injury and determine the length of time these skills were retained. Trauma is the leading cause of death for people 1 to 44 years of age. In the United States, 200,000 people die from traumatic injury annually. Rapid intervention reduces fatalities, disability, and rehabilitation. A prospective, quasi-experimental, multi-factorial trial to assess trauma resuscitative skills and test the basic requisite knowledge for treating trauma was the focus of this research. Twenty-six active duty nursing staff (Nurse Corps officers, 91WM6s, and 91Ws) were enrolled and evaluated over time. Educational and demographic variables were analyzed to predict who retains skill proficiency and who is most likely to require retraining. An individuals' chance of survival improves when time is conserved during "trauma's golden hour." No literature exists on the retention of trauma resuscitative skills, yet vast fiscal and personnel resources are consumed in training. Evidence provided in studies that assess the skills retention of nursing personnel who attended Advanced Cardiac Life Support classes suggest that critical care skills are lost quickly and the primary purposes for training may not be achieved. This is a health care education question that needed examination to assure appropriate use of constrained training, personnel, and fiscal resources. Due to uncontrollable circumstances related to the Global War on Terror, this study was not completed in the allotted time. Based on the limited enrollment, it is obvious that a number of research subjects did not possess the basic knowledge or skills to provide resuscitative care at the minimal standards. However limited, the techniques and procedures were established as a viable means to evaluate the individual's ability to provide safe resuscitative care to patients with traumatic injury.


Final report is available on NTRL: