Study Objective: Nine million children are seen in emergency departments each year for traumatic injuries. Eighty percent of these children will be cared for in non-children’s hospital settings. We sought to understand the barriers and opportunities for optimal pediatric trauma care in non-pediatric emergency departments and to define practice-specific educational needs. Methods: This qualitative study consisted of focus groups from rural, regional and urban non-pediatric emergency department sites discussing pediatric trauma care. Groups were homogenous for the provider role and included 8 physician groups and 9 non-physician groups. Focus groups were led by a trained moderator using a discussion guide composed of open-ended questions which covered various topics of pediatric trauma care. Focus groups were audio-taped and later transcribed and the data were analyzed for major themes and key concepts. Results: A total of 107 providers participated in the focus groups (32 physicians and 75 non-physicians). Barriers to provide optimal pediatric trauma care expressed by providers included the lack of pediatric trauma experience, inadequate pediatric trauma training and the lack of confidence with assessment of the pediatric trauma patient. All providers across all types of hospitals indicated a need and interest in training focused on pediatric trauma, but topics covered, and skills needed varied by type of facility. Conclusions: Community emergency room providers indicated a need for pediatric trauma education. Specifically, hands-on training with high-fidelity simulation was identified as the most useful type of training to gain the skills and confidence needed to manage pediatric trauma patients in their emergency departments.
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