Simulation Technology enhances Doctor of Pharmacy candidates’ retention of rhythms and medications used in advanced cardiac life support


  • Anthony E Dargush David Grant Medical Center, California
  • Eric W Jorczak Ellsworth AFB Pharmacy, South Dakota
  • Robert J Shapiro Davis-Monthan AFB Pharmacy, Arizona
  • Sachin A Shah University of the Pacific, TJ Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, California


Simulation, Pharmacy, ACLS


Aims: Simulation technology is currently being employed to enhance traditional didactic teaching in both nursing and medicine. We plan to assess the difference between simulation-based and didactic-based methods when teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support to Doctor of Pharmacy candidates.

Methods: A prospective, parallel designed study comparing didactic lecture with written scenarios versus didactic lecture plus simulation-based scenarios. Both groups completed a one-hundred point examination two weeks prior to lecture, immediately after lecture, and two weeks post lecture to assess material retention.

Results: Twenty-one subjects were enrolled and participated in the study. The immediate post-lecture assessment average score for the didactic and simulation group was 80.2±12 and 85.6±8 respectively (p=0.262). Retention test scores differed significantly in favour of the simulation group versus didactic group (79.6 and 64.8 respectively; p=0.031).

Conclusions: The use of simulation based training in addition to traditional didactic lecture significantly improves students’ retention of Advanced Cardiac Life Support rhythms and medications. 

Author Biographies

Anthony E Dargush, David Grant Medical Center, California

Clinical Pharmacist, David Grant Medical Center

Eric W Jorczak, Ellsworth AFB Pharmacy, South Dakota



ALS Simulator, Laerdal Simulation Solutions (on-line). Available at: Accessed 6th June, 2010.

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Research Article