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What is a simulation lab?
Medical simulation or sim is a fully immersive methodology for training health care professionals. Learners enter a realistic healthcare setting where a high fidelity mannequin is being wirelessly operated by both educational and technical staff. The mannequins replicate human physiology and clinical symptoms and responses. Simulation can be held in a space built specifically for simulation practice. The simulated environment offers opportunities to extend learners far beyond traditional lecture, classroom tutorial or lab settings. In addition to clinical skills the importance of non-technical skills can be practiced in a simulation setting. These are cognitive and social skills that underpin and enhance technical skills.
How does a sim lab work?
There are many different types of simulations that can be used for training purposes. Some are mannequins or high fidelity simulators others can be part or partial task trainers. Specifically trained “replica” patients can also be used. Areas can be set up to mimic operating theatres, resus bays, and other departments around a hospital or health care facility.
Who can participate in a Simulation course?
Wide range of healthcare disciplines. From novice to experienced. These can be run for individuals, teams that routinely work together or interdisciplinary training. Professionals from a wide range of healthcare backgrounds can participate in simulation from student nurses, graduates and post-grads, paramedics and first aid responders, all levels of medical staff, medical services along with civilian and non-civilian healthcare workers.
What are the benefits of participating in a simulated experience?
Simulation is used to complement medical education in patient care settings under the right conditions. The ultimate goal is expertise or mastery and simulation based training provides an opportunity for learners to train in a safe environment where errors can be corrected without endangering the patient. It provides the possibility to individualise training, to train at a time when the competency is required and for as long as is needed. This is not always possible in a clinical setting. Simulation settings provide a:
Safe environment where trainees can learn without risk of harming a patient
Provides an environment that is fully attentive to the learner’s needs
Provides an opportunity for repetitive training
Can be adjusted according to the learners needs
Enables exposure to gradually more complex clinical challenges
Enables exposure to rare emergency situations where time is an important factor
Supports experiential learning
Provides opportunity to train an individual or a team of health professionals
What is the format of a Simulation course?
By determining the learning objectives this will guide what the participants need to learn. Novice learners may need to start with core knowledge and practical manual skills but experienced practioners would need something different. Simulation provides a safe environment where trainees can learn without risk of harming the patient. There is an opportunity for repetitive training which can be adjusted according to the learners needs. This enables exposure to gradually more complex clinical challenges as well as exposure to rare emergency situations.
What are the main features of a SIM Lab course?
Equipment will depend on the clinical skills that need to be practised and assessed and the learning objectives.
Can a simulation course be tailored for specific professional development or technical fields?
Yes, a course can be tailored for either. The simulated environment provides an opportunity to establish a standardised set-up, in which all learners are exposed to the same scenario addressing the learning objectives. All healthcare education should be driven by a clear clinical need for the training and the aim of improving patient outcomes.
What will I take away from a sim lab course?
Research has shown despite high levels of technical skills the majority of incidents and accidents are caused by human error. Non-technical skills are the cognitive and social skills used by experienced professionals. These underpin and enhance technical skills, improving safety be helping people to anticipate, identify and mitigate against errors. Simulation courses are generally outcomes based on the learning objectives required. Sim training is focussed on retention of skills, repetition of skills, crisis resource management and the acquiring of non-technical skills. CPD points are also available for courses.
Can you help us build a simulation facility?
It is essential to embed simulation within existing training programmes. Working proactively with those who require and deliver training (universities, colleges, hospitals, professional bodies, colleges and graduate centres) ensures that simulation is embedded appropriately and helps to ensure resources are used efficiently and appropriately.
Designing and establishing a simulation facility begins with the thorough assessment to plan, identify, manage resources, identification of roles and responsibilities, running a facility or course and planning for the future through sustainability and or income generation.
How do we identify the simulation stakeholders and the learners?
Who are they?
What level Novice or about to graduate?
Will learners from different disciplines interact during sims?
Sims must match programme and course outcomes – every sim must have learning objective and outcomes mapped to the curriculum
Where are the faculty to run the sims from and do they need training?