Medical Simulation and its role in training new health care professionals

Date Posted:14 September 2016 

Simulation is a widely applied technique developed to serve the purposes of practice and learning to many different trainees and disciplines.

Its goal is to create a replica/replacement for real experiences with synthetic, controlled and guided ones, often “immersive” in nature, in a completely interactive fashion [i].

Simulation-based learning in the medical field could be utilized as a valuable tool to improve health professionals’ skills and knowledge, while providing an error-free environment, protecting patients’ safety from unnecessary potential risks [ii]. Simulation-based medical education could be used as a platform to allow learners to practice necessary skills with mitigating ethical tensions, resolving practical problems and augmenting professional growth. The structured and appropriate use of simulation also allows students to hone their clinical skills while avoiding any potential dangers or harms to either the student or the patient during the learning process [iii]. Simulation-based learning has been primarily applied in different fields such as aviation and the military.

Simulation-based medical education comes in two forms: standardized patients (SPs) and high-fidelity patient simulator (HFPS) manikins. SPs are individuals who are intensively trained to consistently mimic the clinical manifestations (signs and symptoms) of a specific illness or disease states. On the other hand, HFPS manikins are computer controlled and enhanced ones that have the ability to perform and display a wide array of vital signs such as (i.e., breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature etc..). Those computer enhanced manikins could be modulated (reprogrammed or manually adjusted) to present the symptoms and signs of versatile medical conditions and diseases.[iv][v]

The vital role that simulation-based medical education plays could be translated through improvements in fundamental skills such as:  

  1. Problem-solving and decision-making
  2. Functional and clinical training expertise
  3. Communication skills in teamwork-based fashion
  4. Preparedness for unanticipated medical situations
  5. Ability to enhance effective data interpretation

In summary; medical simulation-based learning helps create a more structured, collaborative and sustainable work behavior and environment, opportunity to boost health care professionals’ skills as well as the potential to make health care safer and effective.

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[i] Lateef, Fatimah. "Simulation-based learning: Just like the real thing." Journal of emergencies, trauma, and shock 3.4 (2010): 348.

[ii] Aggarwal, Rajesh, et al. "Training and simulation for patient safety." Quality and Safety in Health Care 19.Suppl 2 (2010): i34-i43.

[iii] Ziv, Amitai, et al. "Simulation-based medical education: an ethical imperative." Simulation in Healthcare 1.4 (2006): 252-256.

[iv] McDougall, Elspeth M. "Simulation in education for health care professionals." British Columbia Medical Journal 57.10 (2015).


Comments (1)

This arictle keeps i

4 February 2017
This arictle keeps it real, no doubt.

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