BACKGROUND Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) is the standard of care for stabilization and treatment of military trauma patients. The DoD has mandated that all Service members receive role-based TCCC training and certification. Simulation education can increase procedural skills by providing opportunities for deliberate practice in safe, controlled environments. We developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a simulation-based TCCC training
intervention to improve participants' skill performance and self-confidence in tourniquet placement. METHODS This study was a single-blinded, randomized trial with waitlist controls. Army ROTC cadets from a single training battalion comprised the study population. After randomization and baseline assessment of all participants, Group A alone received focused, simulation-based TCCC tourniquet application training. Three months later, all participants underwent repeat testing, and after crossover, the waitlist Group B received the same intervention. Two months later, all cadets underwent a third/final assessment. The primary outcome was tourniquet placement proficiency assessed by total score achieved on a standardized 8-item skill checklist. A secondary outcome was self-confidence in tourniquet application skill as judged by participants' Likert scale ratings. RESULTS Forty-three Army ROTC cadets completed the study protocol. Participants in both Group A (n = 25) and Group B (n = 18) demonstrated significantly higher performance from baseline to final assessment at five months and two months, respectively, following the intervention. Mean total checklist score of the entire study cohort increased significantly from 5.53 (SD = 2.00) at baseline to 7.56 (SD = 1.08) at Time 3, a gain of 36.7% (p < 0.001). Both groups rated their self-confidence in tourniquet placement significantly higher following the training. CONCLUSIONS A simulation-based TCCC curriculum resulted in significant, consistent, and sustained improvement in participants' skill proficiency and self-confidence in tourniquet placement. Participants maintained these gains two to five months after initial training. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Level II - RCT with significant difference and only one negative criterion (<80% follow-up).