Why Use Simulations for Medical Training?
Simulations allow for immersive, experiential learning and simulation-based challenges for health professionals and students. Learners practice interprofessional communications with virtual peers and interviewing, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment skills with virtual patients in a realistic simulation environment. Simulations enhances the feeling that learners are actually having the experience. Changes in learner skills and behavior occur during the simulation via simulated experiences and outcomes of choices made or via contemplation during a debriefing. Interactive, realistic challenge enhances motivation, which in turn enhances enthusiasm for learning the topic and subsequent skills mastery. A balanced approach emphasizes challenge, practice, positive feedback, and encouragement.
Advantages of Simulation Skills Training:
Learning via simulations offers the following advantages over reading a PDF, simulations using actors to play standardized patients, and even some advantages over real-life experiences:
Advantages over reading a PDF with similar information:
Reading things is not the same as doing them. By practicing skills in a simulation, real world transfer is supported so that the skill is more likely to actually be used in the real world.
Advantages over other live simulations and even some real life experience:
Consistent learning opportunities for all students, better standardized than when played by patient actors who may vary their presentation or than seeing just patients that show up in real-life clinic rotations.
Immediate, personalized, objective, consistent feedback for all students. Better standardized and more thorough feedback than when offered by multiple faculty.
Student opportunity to learn from mistakes without embarrassment or feeling judged by peers watching.
Repeatable learning experiences in which students can experience the outcomes of trying different approaches.
A greater variety of experiences is possible than holding all training in a real-life, where you are limited to the circumstances.
Cost-effective. No actor costs and fewer faculty needed to provide feedback.
Quickly scalable to a larger group without adding faculty, patient actors for clinical trainings, or purchasing more resources.
Quickly implemented in your school. No time needed to train faculty or hire and train actors in comparison to live simulation experiences.
Accessible at all your satellite clinics and nationally.
Expedited quality improvements by our responding to feedback from multiple medical schools.