Debriefing

Educator interview

Interview with a simulated learning educator (SLE) – Chloe Lyons

What do you love about simulation for health care professionals?

I love seeing the students have invaluable learning experiences through practicing potentially life threatening and clinically relevant situations with no actual harm to human life.

How did you learn how to run a debrief?

Reviewing appropriate literature and frameworks, watching and listening to other educators, and then practicing these skills with supervision and reflection/analysis. 

What is a good opening question for a debrief?

"How did that go for you?" 

How important is a take home message?

Very, although there are usually multiple, students can have an individual one, depending on the learning objectives for the simulation. 

How do you get a debrief back on track after someone gets side-tracked?

Using a mapping system on the board I take it back to the goal for the simulation, and revise what was happening in order to achieve this. 

How do cope when a student gets upset?

It shows how powerful the simulation can be, and needs to be addressed outside the group to ensure the student has a positive learning experience. I usually let the student gather themselves in private and then debrief them after the group is finished.  

What do students get out of a debriefing session?

It allows them to exit the simulation space, no longer being involved in whatever clinical context they were in which is important,it then allows opportunities for high quality learning with self-reflection and analysis, ideally coming up with the answers to what happened within the simulation themselves through a good debrief, as opposed to being just told the answers, which is not as powerful. It also allows them to identify learning gaps in knowledge and skills, which is important for professional development and further practice. 

What can a simulated patient contribute to a debrief?

The patients perspective can be powerful as it is not often that in the real clinical setting nurses are “rated” and hear how they performed in providing care. It is good for the students to hear it from the patient themselves as it is honest and immediate feedback.  

Chloe is a registered nurse and simulated learning educator at La Trobe Rural Health School.

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