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Novel moving, handling and extraction simulation for students in a soft play area

02 October 2023
Volume 15 · Issue 10



Emergency medical services often have to extricate patients from their location and take them to an ambulance. High-quality training is required to ensure patient and staff safety during moving, handling and extrication manoeuvres. This study aimed to determine student satisfaction and self-confidence regarding what they had learnt after a novel moving, handling and extrication simulation exercise in a children's soft play area.


A mixed-methods cross-sectional survey was adopted, using the validated Student Satisfaction and Self-Confidence in Learning survey tool. Qualitative data were collected from an open question for additional comments. Student paramedics and student emergency medical technicians from one higher education institution completed four time-limited scenarios, each of which involved moving an immobile patient away from their environment. Descriptive statistics were determined for the participant characteristics and survey responses. Thematic analysis was performed on the qualitative data.


The student participants were aged 18–47 years and the majority were women. They were satisfied with both their learning and their self-confidence in what they had learnt after the simulation event, and felt their communication and teamwork skills had improved. They enjoyed the event more than classroom-based simulation. While they felt the simulation was realistic, suggestions were made to make it more so.


Use of a children's soft play area for a moving, handling and extrication simulation provided student satisfaction and self-confidence in learning.

Medical emergencies involving injuries or illnesses that require attendance by ambulance services can occur in any environment—in the home, at work and in public places such as parks, roads or public buildings (Caroline et al, 2007). Where transport to hospital is necessary, removing the patient from the scene to the ambulance (extrication) is required. Sometimes the environment can be challenging (such as within confined spaces or damaged vehicles) or the injury or illness may make extrication difficult (such as when a person has hypotension or possible spinal injuries).

Safety in manual handling and extrication is important for both staff and patients to avoid injury. In Great Britain, 470 000 workers developed a work-related musculoskeletal disorder during 2020–21 (Health and Safety Executive, 2023). Each year in the UK, 300 000 people experience back pain caused by manual handling accidents (Unison, 2023). NHS Resolution (2020) paid out £57 million in damages, claimant legal costs and NHS legal expenses for over 2000 settled claims relating to manual handling to patients and staff between 2009 and 2019, with back (45%) and upper limb (30%) claims constituting the highest proportion. Effective manual handling and extrication training is therefore essential to prevent patient and staff injury and to lessen the financial implications.

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