One of my interests is medical simulation and the writing of simulation cases. I have already written two related posts: Case Writing and Story Board Writing. I believe that simulation is a wonderful modality to engage learners, teach critical EM concepts, and keep the patients safe.
Last week I wrote about the important components in writing a simulation case. It is an exhausting list, but the thoroughness pays off.
The next big task is writing the actual case storyboard, which can be done in many ways. All revolve around the concept of action and reaction. The key to a well written simulation case is understanding the actions that the learners will take, the actions that they should take, the actions they shouldn’t take.
It can be a daunting task to write a medical simulation cases. Regardless of prior experience in simulation, writing cases is a different skill set than programming or working a high fidelity simulator. It’s more similar to writing a play– at times an impromptu play!
What is a Medical Simulation Case?
It usually entails a patient encounter with a healthcare provider (learner) where an event occurs, and the learner is expected to perform actions. After some time, or after certain actions are performed, the facilitator stops the simulation, and debriefing ensues.
You’ve seen this word on the agenda at the most recent Emergency Medicine conference that you attended. It sounded interesting… but you ended up going to a happy hour and missed out on the event. And so you are left with the burning question, what is SimWars?
I have now heard Dr. Haru Okuda (Director of VA SIMLEARN) introduce SimWars a few times at the start of competitions at conferences. He usually has a photo of two cute little kittens with great big sweet eyes juxtaposed with a photo of two warring tigers fighting each other. He uses this comedic relief to illustrate the difference between a standard simulation session and SimWars competition.
Medical education high-fidelity simulation allows for deliberate practice in a safe environment. We are able to miss the intubation repeatedly or botch up the management of aspirin overdose without the demise of the patient. At the end of each session, we gather in a pow wow and debrief….
I have been involved with debriefings, and often wonder what residents are thinking:
- Do they understand what debriefing means?
- Do they think this is the time where they are scolded for mistakes?
- Do they think it is a valuable part of the simulation?
What does debriefing even mean?