Simulation in Health Care - the simulation educator's perspective

Medicinsk simulering med proffspatient
Interprofessional simulation at Clinicum, the clinical simulation centre at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

The overwhelming technological developments force professional healthcare expertise to go through considerable transformation continuously. This does not only present challenges to the individual professional practitioner, who needs to adapt skills and ways of working, but also to higher and professional education at large. The changing prerequisites for patient care and increasing demands on health care providers have a significant implication for adapting education of health professionals in a number of aspects in order to be able to provide professional excellence as part of a sustainable future health care.

Simulation instructors’ professional development is in the focus of this project; how simulation instructors develop their pedagogical skills and how their teaching behaviour is affected by the virtual environment of full-scale simulation.  It builds on collaboration among eight Swedish health care simulation centres and aims at generating knowledge on how application of pedagogical methods/instruments in high-tech environment during health care simulations changes over time from the instructor being a novice to growing to an expert in the field.

Full-scale simulation has for many years been used successfully in safety-critical domains such as aviation, offshore oil, and nuclear power industries. As a response to the patient safety agenda and to the difficulties in finding clinical placements for all students, simulation has become an increasingly common feature of healthcare education and practice. The technology is used to make possible to practice communication and decision-making under safe conditions, without jeopardising patients’ lives. Comprehensive reviews on the benefits of simulations for learning purposes support that these assumptions could be met. 

The instructors as teachers have a key-role in the process but, while development of teaching skills is extensively studied for university teachers, information on pedagogical development for simulation instructors is scarce. Thus, the project will fill a knowledge gap in the field and contribute to the enhancement of knowledge on pedagogy in virtual environments for health care.

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