Medical Simulation – Overview
Medical simulation is redefining the conventional role of instructors who earlier would actively provide information while students were passive absorbers of the information. There are numerous practical uses of simulation in different fields and industries, especially the medical industry.
Simulation can easily replace and simulate real-life experiences through prescribed situations and experiences are usually immersive and boosted to ensure specific learning in an extensively interactive manner.
Simulation-based training techniques, tools and tactics are extremely useful in providing structured learning experiences. These are also useful to measure targeted teamwork and competencies in view of specific learning goals.
Simulation is extensively used today in high-hazard professions, such as medicine, nuclear power and aviation.
In the world of medicine, simulation-centric learning techniques are used to develop the knowledge, attitude and skills of health care professionals. This is extremely helpful to learn new and innovative treatment procedures, without any risk to a patient.
Simulation in medicine has increasingly become more accepted, interesting and significant as an effective and accurate learning tool. This is also essential to ensure accurate assessment for accreditation.
Today, simulation has become an integral part of medical education with growing numbers of medical schools and healthcare institutions integrating simulation-based training into their curriculum.
Uses of Simulations
Simulations allow students to become active participants in the learning process. Teachers also become active guides in the basic learning environment.
Full-body mannequin simulators were initially used for practicing anesthesia skills as early as the 1960s. in the 1980s when personal computers became commonplace and less expensive, simulation software became more easily accessible.
This prompted a boost in the development of simulation systems for use in military training, nuclear power generation, aviation, and space flight research.
In the early 1990s, MedSim and METI (Medical Education Technologies, Inc.) become popular as comprehensive anesthesia simulation modules. Several simulation concepts were slowly integrated for anesthesia, emergency medicine, critical care, internal medicine and obstetrics.
Today, simulator models can create computerized models that match human physiology very closely.
Simulation-centric teaching in the medical field is necessary today as it provides an effective learning technique and resolves ethical and practical dilemmas simultaneously.
Simulation-based learning modules in the medical field have become invaluable for training interdisciplinary medical teams through realistic scenarios and equipment that allow for constant training and practice, without any lag. This is extremely helpful in achieving complete mastery of the skill or procedure.
This adds an additional dimension to conventional teaching while reducing errors and enhancing performance.
Key Elements of Medical Simulation Programs
Medical simulation programs provide experiential training and involve using a model that is a digital copy of the physiology of a patient, or a specific part of the body. It is easy to change the characteristics and behavior of these models to represent complex and numerous situations.
An approved medical simulation model can effectively simulate the actual physical system with the same complexity and precision.
Simulation systems also include a model executor. This software program interacts with the learner using a specified user interface. A recording interface captures the stimuli of the computerized model and learner behavior during the training.
This is extremely helpful in analyzing the learner’s performance and suggesting the required corrections and improvements. User-interface are usually connected to web-based or installed applications and can be used with multiple devices, such as a tablet PC, or a smartphone.
Benefits and Uses of Medical Simulation
Medical simulation allows the learner to memorize the skills required in real-world scenarios. Hence, it is extremely useful in learning and practicing a large variety of healthcare and safety-related skills and concepts.
Medical simulation lets learners upgrade skills and has become an essential part of various medical subjects, such as SEPSIS, CPR and other life-saving techniques.
Simulation lets medical staff, healthcare professionals and nurses develop and hone their skills repeatedly, but without any risk to a patient.
Simulation programs are able to teach new and pioneering techniques and equipment and also allow medical professionals to practice and manage complicated medical situations.
Medical professionals can also apply these skills to analyze and rate their performance in real-life scenarios.
Simulations are usually guided scenarios to learn and therefore effectively controllable. On the other hand, in real life, the instructor and learner have less control over the scenario and have more risk of errors.
Using simulation, it is easy to pause and control the scenario in many ways. This way, learners have more time to register what they learn and practice their skills in various scenarios.
Medical simulation programs are also helpful in providing training in functional and technical expertise. They can improve decision-making and problem-solving skills, communication and interpersonal skills along with team-based competencies.
Medical simulation provides empirical knowledge and helps develop practical know-how. Simulations are extremely immersive and interactive, which makes it easier to learn new technical skills and equipment.
Medical simulation is finding new avenues in medical and healthcare training worldwide and is expected to become an integral part of the healthcare learning industry soon.