Value of Simulation Based Training for Healthcare & Medical Professionals
For healthcare professionals, the need for repeated exposure to live patients, in order to improve their skill and experience cannot be stressed enough. Such experiences are important not just for budding doctors and nurses but even for those who are in practice for some time. Experts believe that medicine is as much a science as it is an art. Constant exposure to real life medical scenarios help healthcare professionals to master both these aspects.
Conversely, the obligation to provide optimal treatment to every patient while ensuring patient’s safety and well-being poses a dilemma in medical education.
Simulation Based Learning
The above dilemma can be effectively addressed with the help of simulation based learning techniques. Simulation techniques range from simple ones – learning how to administer an injection by practicing on an orange with a real needle and syringe – to complex ones using computerised mannequins or Advanced Human Patient Simulators (AHPC). These advanced simulators help mitigate errors and promote a culture of safety in an industry that has zero tolerance for mistakes.
Value of Simulation based learning
Let us look at five most prominent areas in which value can be derived from simulation based learning.
Learning and skill development – Medical staff can be trained on common emergency scenarios to ensure that they learn treatment protocols and procedures, well before they encounter real patients. It also helps in developing skills such as hand-eye coordination which is of paramount importance during surgical procedures.
Problem Solving and Decision making – By creating life-like simulated emergency scenarios, medical staff can be trained to take critical decisions based on the condition of the patient. Exposure to multiple real-life scenarios improve their problem solving and decision making skills.
Patient Safety – Continuous exposure to medical scenarios provides an opportunity to learn from errors and mitigate them in real-life situations which enhances patient safety.
Clinical Outcomes – With the help of simulation, medical staff can be exposed to rare cases that are hard to come by. This helps in improving clinical outcomes as trained medical professionals can approach such cases with confidence.
While the upfront cost of training medical professionals may seem high, simulation training has emerged as the most flexible and durable form of medical education and training. Benefits such as mitigating medical errors (big or small), better patient outcomes and creating a team of highly trained medical professionals far outweigh the cost incurred on simulation based learning. Courses such as the High Simulation Fidelity Workshop for Nurses offered by Berkeley HealthEDU, have made this niche training available to all.