Along the years, medical simulation evolved from enhancing technical and clinical abilities to developing non-technical abilities as: developing multitasking abilities, rapid decision making, efficient communication between members of the same team and also between members of different multidisciplinary teams.
In a medical simulation scenario, healthcare professionals act in a realist environment using high-fidelity simulators and real clinical equipment. The participants can act as in real life, while having the main advantage of protecting (risk free environment). In this way, with immediate and appropriate feedback, they can reflect upon the consequences of their actions, individually or as a team, and moreover they can repeat the manoeuvres or the scenario until they feel fully confident in their abilities, decisions and behaviour.
Many studies prove that simulation in medicine represents an efficient instrument in gaining medical knowledge, if the following criteria are met:
– offering immediate professional feedback (from the instructors or the simulation equipment);
– setting clear, realistic and achievable learning objectives;
– sustained and deliberate practice;
– meeting curricular demands;
– offering a secure, controlled environment, centred on the participant;
– offering reflex learning opportunities;
– offering high-fidelity simulation equipment, suiting each individual’s competence level.
– Issenberg, McGaghie, Petrusa, Gordon and Scalese. Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Medical Teacher, vol 27, 2005, p 10-28.
– Loyd GE, Lake CL, Greenberg RB. Practical Health Care Simulations. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier-Mosby. 2004.
– Bond WF, Spillane L, for the CORD Core Competencies Simulation Group: The use of simulation for emergency medicine resident assessment. Acad Emerg Med 2002;9:1295-1299.
– Glassman PA, Luck J, O’Gara EM, Peabody JW. Using standardized patients to measure quality: evidence from the literature and a prospective study. Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement. 2000; 26:644-653.