Optimizing Trauma Resuscitation Education: A Year-Long In-Situ Simulation Curriculum

Ashika Jain, MD, Nelly Parisot, MD, Michael J. Klein, MD, Janice Shin-Kim, MD, Brian Lin, MD, Julia Paris, MD, Shannon McNamara, MD, Jessica Strauss, MD, Soma Pathak, MD

Delivering optimal care in a trauma resuscitation requires a highly coordinated and skilled team. Traditional learning methods, while valuable, may not fully prepare healthcare professionals for the high-pressure environment of a real-life trauma situation. In-situ simulation (ISS) training offers a powerful alternative by enabling teams to practice within their actual working environment with realistic scenarios.  This curriculum was written by our Emergency Medicine and Trauma Surgery faculty and outlines a year-long in-situ program designed for our Level I trauma centers. The program aims to enhance the knowledge, skills, and teamwork of healthcare professionals involved in trauma care. It fosters a collaborative learning environment for interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams.

Multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of in-situ simulation training in trauma care. A review by Steinemann et al. showed that ISS training led to improvements in team communication, leadership, and resource management [1]. Similarly, Miller et al. found that ISS training significantly improved non-technical skills, including situational awareness and prioritization, during real trauma resuscitations [2]. These findings suggest that ISS training can translate theoretical knowledge into improved clinical practice.

This curriculum features monthly ISS scenarios focusing on a variety of common and challenging trauma presentations. Each scenario is designed to be completed within a one-hour timeframe, minimizing disruption to patient care. Each scenario is followed by a facilitated debriefing session led by experienced faculty. Debriefing focuses on performance strengths and weaknesses, promoting reflection and improvement. By practicing in a realistic environment and receiving targeted feedback, healthcare professionals can develop the skills and teamwork necessary to optimize patient outcomes in time-critical trauma situations.



MVA: Pneumothorax

MVA: Liver Laceration

Fall: Open Pelvic Fracture

MVA: Femur Fracture with Hemorrhagic Shock

MVA: Pregnant Patient

Neurogenic Shock

Stab Wound: Pericardial Effusion

GSW: Tension Pneumothorax

Fall: Epidural Hematoma

Surgical Airway in Trauma


MVA: Liver Laceration and AMS


  • Steinemann, S., et al. (2011). In situ simulation-based trauma team training: A pilot study. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 19(1), 1-7.
  • Miller, R. D., et al. (2012). The impact of in situ simulation on trauma team performance. The American Journal of Surgery, 204(2), 225-232