The perspective of new educator to simulation

What were you expecting for the session?

What I didn’t expect is how real the scenario felt.  You could feel the students working with the simulated patient as if it was a real hospital setting.  It was like being a fly on the wall as the students conducted their patient assessments and educations. 

What were your concerns/worries going into the session?

I was concerned that simulation would be stressful for the students, especially allied health students who do not have many opportunities to participate in simulation.  Whilst the students were challenged, the environment that was created was supportive and facilitated learning.  The mutual respect and curiosity demonstrated by the participants contributed to this learning environment.

What support did you need (and did you get enough support)?

Simulation is resource intensive.  The simulation required two simulated patients, two facilitators, 1 to 2 confederate positions and a technician!  However the opportunities for learning are priceless!

What preparation did you have to do?

It was important to observe a simulation session and understand some of the theory before co-facilitating a session.  Learning from an experienced facilitator provides you with some example questions to ask and understanding of how the group will run.  Writing a small part of the scenario also reinforced the planning that is required from pre-reading for the participants, giving instructions to the simulated patient and ensuring the resources are in place to run the scenario.

Did it go as planned?

Yes, the simulations did go as planned.  The overall theme of the day was team work, communication and the importance of interprofessional practice.  The feedback from the students indicated that they too identified the importance of team work, communication and interprofessional practice in patient care.  Interestingly the simulation experience was slightly different for the two student groups.  Depending on the disciplines present, actions of the students and interactions with the simulated patient the same scenario can provide students with a slightly different experience.  

Why do it at all? (What were your motivations?)

Simulation offers a learner-centred, active teaching strategy that provides a controlled environment in which students can practise and learn without harm to patients or themselves. Team-based simulation promotes interprofessional practice and improves communication and teamwork.