Development and Evaluation of an Interactive ICU Workshop for High School Students
CCCF ePoster library. Young A. Nov 7, 2018; 233372; 23
Alexandra Young
Alexandra Young
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Introduction: Intensive care unit (ICU) survivors are at an increased risk of disability associated with muscle wasting and ICU-acquired weakness (ICUAW)1-3. There are many multidisciplinary employment opportunities within clinical care and research that are dedicated to preventing disability and promoting recovery in ICU survivors. Recognized team members include intensivists, nurses, and physiotherapists. Other valued team members also include respiratory and occupational therapists. In preparation for post-secondary training, Grade 11 students have a selection of health-related pre-requisite courses, making these students and ideal cohort to highlight the diverse career and research opportunities in the ICU. Therefore, an interactive workshop inspired by the CYCLE research program was developed to introduce Grade 11 students to clinical and research opportunities within the ICU4-6.

Objectives: To develop an interactive workshop to: 1) introduce Grade 11 high school students to career opportunities in critical care; 2) introduce students to common technologies and equipment in the ICU; 3) simulate the effects of ICUAW and introduce physiotherapy interventions to address ICUAW; 4) highlight current rehabilitation research, specifically in-bed cycling, to improve ICU survivor recovery.  

Methods: We engaged a multidisciplinary team including research clinicians, research coordinators, graduate students, and a 2nd year physiotherapy student completing a clinician-scientist placement at St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton to develop the workshop. We designed activities to encourage student participation, provide practical learning opportunities, and promote critical thinking (Table 1). An ICU summary handout was created to introduce students to the concept of critical care, related careers, and common ICU technologies. Three physiotherapists, 1 research coordinator, 1 physiotherapy student, and 1 MSc graduate student led the workshop.  Following the workshop, participants completed a self-administered, 10-item questionnaire including demographics, open-ended questions, and 6 questions using a 7-point Likert scale (Table 2). We calculated the mean and standard deviation (SD) using Microsoft Excel for all interval, ordinal, and nominal data. Thematic analysis was conducted to summarize participants’ responses to open-ended questions.  

Results: Two teachers and 17 Grade 11 students (mean (SD) age 16.3 (0.5) years, 79% female) from 2 Hamilton high schools participated. The overall rating of the workshop was 6.64 (0.68). Table 1 outlines the mean (SD) ratings. Notably, participants mentioned at least 1 of the 3 interactive stations as their favourite part of the workshop (95%). Participants recommended more interactive stations and additional emphasis on the in-bed cycling research trials. Students expressed interest in various disciplines including medicine (63%), nursing (41%), and allied health (29%). 

Conclusion: This 3-hour interactive workshop introduced high school students to the diverse career and research areas in critical care. The interactive stations elicited very high ratings from all students and teachers, who reported stations as understandable, organized and fun. Both students and teachers appreciated the workshop content as an opportunity to assist them in future career decisions. Results from this workshop can be applied to future knowledge translation initiatives aimed to educated high school students about the many constituents of the ICU.

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