Most critical medical errors occur in Acute Care where team effectiveness can be the pivotal factor that determines the outcome for the patient. Until now, very little training provision has existed to rehearse team effectiveness. Simulation addresses this training requirement in a way that no other training methodology can.
Rare but critical and time-pressured events can be recreated in a simulation so that protocols can be established and communication problems can be identified and improved upon.
“Hello, you’re my first patient…” – preparing for those first times
In the current wake of growing public awareness of medical errors and a shift in both public and professional opinion that it is no longer acceptable to practice procedures and manage clinical events for the very first time on a patient, simulation can bridge the gap between textbook learning and those ‘first times’. A simulated environment is safe and risk free for trainees to build their competence and confidence.
Capturing clinical variation
Medical simulation can replicate a wide variety of patient scenarios and allow the participants in a safe environment rather than having to wait for a real encounter. Simulation gives participants exposure and practical experience including life threatening patient scenarios where the frequency of occurrence is low but the stakes are high.
Tailoring the range of difficulty levels with clinical tasks
Not all trainees master skills in the same time frame, as each learner has different ‘learning curves’ in terms of shape and acceleration, which cannot always be accommodated by traditional teaching methods. Simulated acquired clinical skills can address these variances between students, while still delivering the long term outcome – to demonstrate competence in the given task at all levels of difficulty.
Prolonging skills retention
The ‘feedback’ process has been cited as the most valuable component of simulation and accounts for a large portion of the simulation exercise. Using audio and visual review, participants are able to witness their individual actions as well as their interactions within a team. This capability uniquely optimizes the learning experience and increases the retention of the acquired skills. The opportunity to repeat training exercises, particularly for rare events, directly supports those clinicians when facing real encounters in achieving the best outcomes possible.