Background: Patient’s triage is a key element of mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) response, although performance of healthcare professionals in triage proved to be poor. It was assessed if specific teaching methods based on pattern recognition skill development can help healthcare students to improve their performance in triage.
Methods: 128 medical and nursing students have been assessed while performing triage during disaster medicine exercises. Half of them (group 1) had previously been involved in a standard curriculum. The remaining half (group 2) benefited from specific teaching methods based on pattern recognition skill development.
Results: Performance of group 2 was significantly higher compared with group 1 (p<0.01). Group 2 had a lower overtriage rate.
Conclusions: Disaster medicine courses based on pattern recognition skill development improve triage performance of healthcare students during simulated MCI. This study may have a high impact on healthcare students and professionals’ education in the perspective of MCIs preparedness and response.
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