Modern technology and health care advancements have significantly affected the patient populations encountered across numerous health care and public settings. One such setting is the school systems within the United States where students and staff with complex cardiovascular conditions, who were once restricted due to medical concerns and associated risks, are now actively learning and working among their peers. Though these conditions are typically managed well in this population, their risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) remains, and schools must be equipped and prepared to respond to such emergencies. Many buildings have developed Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERTs) intended to provide life-saving resuscitation efforts to individuals experiencing SCA until more advanced personnel arrive. Though trained in CPR and AED use, the knowledge and skills obtained from these courses are rarely, if ever, practiced within schools. In addition, MERTs within schools predominantly consist of CPR-certified administrators and teachers, who have little or no experience in health care or emergency response. Without such exposure, it is difficult for one to possess the confidence and perception of preparedness to react with a calm and methodical sense of urgency. As fire and storm drills are practiced regularly within U.S. schools, Rose et al. (2016) recommended coordinated opportunities for MERT members to practice their roles in SCA response and Bhanji et al. (2015) suggested the use of simulation to do so. This knowledge as led to the following PICOT question, which was the foundation of this benchmark study: Among school-based MERT members (P), how does simulation of a cardiac emergency (I) compared to no simulation (C) affect confidence and perception of emergency preparedness (O) during pre-service school days (T)?

Date of publication

Fall 12-6-2020

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Master of Science in Nursing - Education

Included in

Nursing Commons