Debriefings in medical simulation are meant to be the bow on top of the gift that is medical simulation. It is the ultimate delicious dessert, served after a grueling dinner course. All analogies aside, debriefings are meant to drive home the teaching points, to gain a deeper understanding of medical resuscitation as a group, and create mental frameworks of the approach to various patients. But this is often easier described than actually done. We here at ALiEM paired with Dr. Henry Curtis to come up with a creative way of developing debriefing skills and gain deeper understanding of mental frameworks.
One advantage of simulation as an educational tool is the re-creation of cognitive and emotional stresses in caring for patients. Doing this for a high fidelity scenario is relatively easy – add additional patients, make a them loud, combative, or otherwise cantankerous, and add interruptions for good measure. However, when training for procedures in the simulation lab, we practice the procedure in isolation on a “task trainer” without cognitive and emotional stress for context. An off-the-shelf task trainer can do a superb job of teaching the mechanics of performing a procedure, but they lack complexity necessary to train for performing the procedure under stress. (more…)
Being a learner in a medical simulation case can be tough. But equally challenging, is the role of the Debriefer. This person has to balance the important task of debriefing the small group, provide feedback, and still maintain a positive and open learning environment. A 2013 paper by Rudolph et al attempts to show methods how to balance these demands while improving as a Debriefer through the use of 2 Column Case Analysis and Learning Pathway Grid.
Thought simulation is only for doctors and nurses? Think again! More and more, people are reconsidering the notion that medical simulation has only application in the clinical setting. By rethinking the narrow mind set, educators are learning that simulation can be used almost anywhere for anyone! Even to teach sexual health to teenagers!
Let us start 2014 with renewed vigor and interest in simulation! To do that, I am going to take it way back and review the basics of simulation with a 2007 article that I consider landmark for understanding medical simulation and the role it plays in education by one of the leaders in the field, Dr. David Gaba.
Simulation based research is tough. We all know that it’s fun, and we think it is safer for the patients. Beyond that, the data is not so strong! And it’s important to care about this. Why? Because those working in the educational fields are fighting for budgets against other strong modalities for education such as ultrasound. Additionally, we are fighting for valuable time and space with the learners, such as medical students and residents. Improving simulation research can give credibility to those educators who seek more money, time, and focus for their learners. But how to improve it?