Learner and educator experiences and priorities in paediatric airway education: A qualitative study

Andrew D Weatherall, Minal Menezes, Sue May Koh, Michelle D Lazarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Paediatric airway management is a challenging area of anaesthesia practice to learn. Techniques and skills required need modification from adult practice and gaining experience through exposure takes considerable time. Preparation to manage airway emergencies can be particularly difficult as these events are rare in paediatric practice. This study aimed to examine what educational approaches health professionals of varying backgrounds find useful when learning or teaching paediatric airway management. This qualitative study involved the conduct of five interdisciplinary focus groups; each group consisted of four to six health professionals from nursing, anaesthetic, simulation and critical care backgrounds. After transcription, focus group content was analysed using a qualitative method to identify common themes expressed within the interviews. Five themes were most prominent. These included the high value of hands-on learning, the challenges created by variability in exposure, the importance of developing basic airway skills, the potential for simulation to cover rare situations, and the problems of current airway models. These themes were evident in comments from both experienced and novice practitioners, clinicians with different subspecialty backgrounds and both medical and nursing staff. Learners and educators have similar priorities in airway education. This includes a strong recognition of the importance of spending time mastering basic airway techniques, a role for simulation in building non-technical skills and noted deficiencies in current airway models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • airway
  • airway management
  • child
  • Education
  • education training
  • intensive care
  • qualitative

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