Q. May I use feedback manikins or devices that let students know if their compression rate and depth is appropriate in EFR® courses?
A. Absolutely. At least one resuscitation council, the American Heart Association, recommends the use of quality CPR feedback devices to learn adult CPR based on research. Though CPR skill repetition is essential, there is speculation that the use of feedback devices may reduce mastery time as participants self-correct in response to the device’s real-time feedback. ILCOR Guidelines in recent years have re-emphasized compression rate, depth and recoil, which make these devices an interesting teaching aid for skill mastery evaluation.
The important aspect of using manikins that provide immediate results on compression rate, depth and recoil in EFR courses is to do so in a reassuring way, so the competent-versus-perfect philosophy outlined in the EFR Instructor course is not compromised.
Keep in mind that CPR students often feel intimidated by the practical skills and can feel performance anxiety, particularly when they’re not able to achieve great feedback results right away. Unless a level of comfort and support is achieved by the instructor in the CPR classroom, the participant’s ability to learn and retain skills and be willing to offer them in an emergency can be severely reduced. However, used properly, compression feedback devices are a teaching tool that can effectively help EFR students bring their practical CPR skills in line with current compression rate, depth and recoil guidelines.
A variety of feedback devices are available, some built into the manikin, and others can be added to and used with existing manikins.